May 1st, 2019

Congress Passes Legislation to Help Fund Shooting Ranges

Range Bill H.R. 1222 Pittman-Robertson
H.R. 1222 will help States build and maintain shooting ranges with Federal funding assistance.

Range Bill H.R. 1222 Pittman-RobertsonGreat news from Washington for a change…

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 1222, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act. This legislation, together with U.S. Senate companion bill S. 94, will help states access Federal funds to build and maintain shooting ranges and marksmanship training facilities.

The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, also known as the “Range Bill”, would allow states to use their allocation of Pittman-Robertson funds to begin construction of new ranges, or improve existing state-run public recreational shooting ranges. Currently, states are required to put up 25 percent of the cost of range construction projects to access the matching 75 percent of funds from Pittman-Robertson allocation. This legislation would allow states to access those funds with a 10 percent match and allow states five fiscal years to acquire land for range construction or expansion projects.

Range Bill H.R. 1222 Pittman-Robertson

This legislation should definitely help states create new ranges and upgrade existing ranges. By reducing the state share from 25% to 10%, the Range Bill effectively lowers state costs of range projects by 60%. That’s a big deal says Lawrence Keane, NSSF Sr. VP and General Counsel: “This is crucial legislation that will give state fish and game agencies more flexibility to use Pittman-Robertson excise taxes dollars raised from the sale of firearms and ammunition to enhance existing public shooting ranges and to build new ones to meet the growing need for additional places for target shooters to participate in their sport.”

Range Bill H.R. 1222 Pittman-Robertson

Pittman-Robertson Funds Come from Gun and Ammo Taxes
Pittman-Robertson funds are derived from excise taxes paid through firearms and ammunition sales. Since 1937, the fund has generated more than $12.1 billion that has funded wildlife conservation and safety education programs in all 50 states. NSSF estimates more than 80 percent of Pittman-Robertson excise tax contributions are generated by sales attributed to recreational shooting.

H.R. 1222 Goes to Senate and Then to President Trump
The bipartisan H.R. 1222 was sponsored by U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.). Companion legislation (S. 94) was previously passed by the Senate. H.R. 1222 will return to the U.S. Senate, but is expected to pass by unanimous consent as the bill language is identical. When approved, the bill goes to President Donald Trump for enactment.

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April 12th, 2017

Gun Industry Tops $51.3 Billion in Economic Imparct

NSSF National Shooting Sports Economic Impact Reports 2015 2016

Guns are big money. In the past eight years, the dollars generated by the production and sales of guns and ammo have more than doubled. In fact, total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $51.3 billion in 2016, a 168% increase. Meanwhile the total number of gun industry full-time jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to more than 300,00, an 81% increase in that period, according to a report released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the industry’s trade association. Read NSSF Report Highlights HERE.

Big Annual Growth — Numbers Up 15% from 2015 to 2016
The shooting industry’s economic impact rose from $49.3 billion in 2015 to $51.3 billion in 2016, a nearly 15% year-over-year increase. We can expect trends to slow down a bit with the election of President Trump, but recent years have still shown remarkable growth.

NSSF Gun Industry economic impact chart taxes

$6.5 Billion in Tax Revenues Generated
The firearms and ammunition industry generates sizable tax revenues. In the USA the industry and its employees pay over $6.5 billion in federal and state taxes including property, income and sales taxss.

NSSF Gun Industry economic impact chart taxes

The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2017 provides a state-by-state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid. Download the full NSSF Report HERE.

More Jobs, More Support for Conservation, More Tax Revenues
“Our industry is proud to be one of the truly bright spots in our economy as an unprecedented number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. “In response to that growing market, we have increased our direct workforce dramatically over the last decade. In addition, since 2008 we increased federal tax payments by 156%, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 138% and state business taxes by 107%.”

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February 5th, 2017

New Legislation Could Help States Use Fed Money for Gun Ranges

Target marksmanship training support act H.R. 788 Congress NSSF shooting range legislation
H.R. 788 will help States build and maintain shooting ranges with Federal funding assistance.

Federal Legislation has been introduced that will help build and maintain shooting ranges. H.R. 788, the Target and Marksmanship Training Support Act of 2017, was introduced in Congress by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and a bipartisan group of 23 co-sponsors. The provisions of H.R. 788 will help States fund public shooting ranges with Federal Firearms Excise tax revenues.

“This legislation [H.R. 788] would provide state fish and game agencies more flexibility to use Pittman Robertson excise taxes dollars raised from the sale of firearms and ammunition to enhance existing public shooting ranges and to build new ones to meet the growing need for additional places for target shooters to participate in their sport,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior V.P. and General Counsel. “Public shooting ranges provide hunters a place to sight-in rifles and shotguns before hunting seasons, for people to take firearm safety and hunter education courses, and for recreational target shooters to enjoy their sport.”

Since 1937 almost $11 billion has been raised for wildlife conservation through the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition. States are permitted to use some of those funds for hunter education courses and for public shooting ranges under a restrictive formula that has largely discouraged state agencies from building and enhancing public shooting ranges. H.R. 788 will help states use Pittman Robertson revenues by increasing the limit on Federal funding of shooting ranges from 75 to 90 percent. This means states could begin work on range facilities with 10 percent State-supplied funding, instead of the current 25 percent. It would also allow Federal Excise funds to be made available and accrue for five years for land acquisition or range construction.

In addition, the legislation would limit frivolous lawsuits arising from the use of Federal land for target practice and encourage Federal agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities for maintenance of ranges on federal lands.

Pittman-Robertson gun range funding

Story by NRAHuntersRights.org and NRAblog.com
Shown above is the Belfast Wildlife Area rifle range in Kindards, SC. Belfast was the first public, unmanned shooting range opened and paid for completely with funds raised by NRA Grants and the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program … an act made possible through Pittman-Robertson grants. Several other state Natural Resource Departments have followed suit.

Legislative History: The Target and Marksmanship Training Support Act was previously introduced as H.R. 2406, the SHARE Act (Title II), and the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act in the last Congress, as well as a stand-alone bill H.R. 2463 in the 113th Congress.

Photo Credit: Top photo shows Mainville Sportsman Club (PA) and Union Co. Sportmen’s Club (PA), both sites of IBS Matches.

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October 21st, 2012

Planned Federal Budget Freeze May Threaten Public Ranges

Pittman-Robertson gun range funding

Story by NRAHuntersRights.org and NRAblog.com
Shown above is the Belfast Wildlife Area rifle range in Kindards, South Carolina. Belfast was the first public, unmanned shooting range opened and paid for completely with funds raised by NRA Grants and the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program … an act made possible through Pittman-Robertson grants. Several other state Natural Resource Departments have followed suit. Such facilities provide hunters and shooters with a convenient, low cost location to sight in firearms and practice shooting. Now that may be in jeopardy.

In the article below, NRAHuntersRights.org Managing Editor J.R. Robbins explains why government funding for Public Shooting Ranges is threatened:


OMB Threatens to Freeze Pittman-Robertson Funds
Sportsmen nationwide should be aware of a recently released report from the White House Office of Management and Budget that itemizes $31 million in Pittman-Robertson funds to be “sequestered” from the U.S. budget. Sequestration sets aside funding–effectively “freezing” it — until a debt is repaid.

Pittman-Robertson gun range fundingThe listing of the P-R funding (as well as $34 million of Dingell-Johnson funds that support sport fishing) is part of a huge package of across-the-board government budget reductions planned to take effect January 2, 2013, unless Congress can develop a plan to cut $1.2 trillion over the next decade.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the Pittman-Robertson Act, more formally known as the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act. As most hunters know, the act put an 11 percent excise tax on rifles, shotguns, ammunition and archery equipment that is distributed to state game and fish agencies for the purposes of habitat acquisition and improvement, reintroduction of declining species, wildlife research, hunter education, shooting range development and other conservation projects. (The tax on handguns is 10 percent.)

It is this funding and these projects that have brought back species such as whitetail deer, turkeys, wood ducks, antelope, bald eagles and Canada geese from dangerously low levels a century ago to the strong, sustainable populations we see today. Hunters’ dollars are directly responsible for these and other conservation milestones.

Since 1937, hunters have contributed nearly $7 billion dollars through the Pittman-Robertson Act for the benefit of wildlife conservation. For any given project, P-R funding pays 75 percent of costs, and states must contribute at least 25 percent–most of which comes from hunting license fees …

Read the rest of NRAHuntersRights’ article on the threat to Pittman-Robertson HERE.

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