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September 22nd, 2021

How American Hunters Promote Wildlife Conservation

National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing
This Saturday, September 25, 2021, is National Hunting and Fishing Day.

There are over 9.2 million hunters in the United States. The fees paid by hunters are essential to support conservation efforts and to protect/maintain habitats.

These infographics explain the vital role that American hunters play in protecting wild species in North America. Currently 60% of state Fish & Wildlife Agency funding comes from excise taxes and licensee fees paid by hunters and anglers. The system has provided billions of dollars for conservation over the past nine decades. Since the late 1930s, hunters, target shooters and the firearms industry have been the nation’s largest contributors to conservation, paying for programs that benefit America’s wildlife.

National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing

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National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing

GAOA outdoors act hunting
Deer hunting photo courtesy

The Pittman-Robertson Act generates $700 million annually, which is distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to state fish and game agencies across America.

National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing

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September 18th, 2012

Guns & Ammo Taxes Have Supported Conservation for 75 Years

Pittman Robertson Conservation Excise TaxDo you help conserve wildlands for future generations? Well, if you have ever purchased ammunition or a firearm, you do support conservation directly. This month marks the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife Restoration Act. On September 2, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, now called the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, which provides funding for wildlife conservation efforts. Since 1937, hunters and shooters have paid for conservation through Federal Excise taxes. Over $4.2 Billion Dollars have been raised for wildlife conservation and habitat restoration through the 10% excise on handgun purchases and 11% excise tax on Long-gun and Ammo purchases.

Funds from excise taxes on arms and ammunition (plus bows and arrows) are apportioned to States by the Dept. of the Interior to pay up to 75% of the cost of approved projects. Project activities include acquisition and improvement of wildlife habitat, introduction of wildlife into suitable habitat, wildlife surveys, hunter education programs, and construction and operation of public target ranges.

The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act has been the “single-most effective wildlife conservation funding mechanism in U.S. history”. Through their excise tax contributions, hunters and shooters have done more to protect wildlife, dollar for dollar, than have the members of private conservation groups. Nobody likes to pay taxes, but hunters and shooters can be rightfully proud of their role in preserving wildlife habitats and wildlife populations in the United States, over the past 75 years. To learn more about the conservation programs supported by gun excise taxes, visit

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May 25th, 2010

Proposed Law Allocates Gun Excise Taxes for Range Acquisition

U.S. Congress SealA bill in Congress would allow state agencies to use their shares of Federal Excise/Sales Tax Revenues (derived from gun, ammo, and archery sales) to acquire land for new shooting ranges. The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (H.R.3781) would give state agencies more flexibility in spending Pittman-Robertson dollars for the development of new sites for shooting ranges. H.R.3781 was introduced in October 2009 by Rep. Betsey Markey of Colorado. The bill, supported by NSSF, would give states the ability to use federal excise/sales tax revenues to purchase land for new ranges for the first time and increase federal dollars for range construction and improvement.

We think this is a great idea. Please tell your members of Congress to support H.R.3781. In many parts of the country privately-owned ranges are closing (due to a variety of factors including urban sprawl and restrictive land-use laws). Pittman-Robertson revenues are also at an all-time high, as is the general public interest in target shooting. It makes good sense to allow a share of Federal gun-related tax revenues be set aside for range acquisition. H.R. 3781 would amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to:

  • authorize a state to pay up to 90% of the costs of acquiring land for expanding, or constructing, a public target range;
  • authorize a state to elect to allocate 10% of a specified amount apportioned to it from the federal aid to wildlife restoration fund for such costs;
  • limit the federal share of such costs under such Act to 90%;
  • require amounts provided for such costs under such Act to remain available for expenditure and obligation for five fiscal years.

About the Pittman-Robertson Act
The Pittman-Robertson Act imposes an 11% excise tax on sporting firearms and ammunition, a 10% tax on handguns, and 11% sales tax on archery equipment. Fully half of the monies collected via the handgun and archery equipment taxes goes to state hunter education and safety programs.

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