NSSF

NSSF Celebrates President Trump Signing ‘Range Bill’

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association, celebrates President Donald Trump’s signing of H.R. 1222, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, at The White House. The President signed the NSSF-priority bill May 10, just two weeks after the bill was passed by Congress.

We deeply appreciate President Trump’s swift enactment of this legislation that will give state fish and game agencies greater flexibility to build new recreational shooting ranges and expand and improve existing ranges,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “This administration understands the value and investment the firearms and ammunition industry makes to safe recreational shooting and to sustained conservation to benefit wildlife and habitat restoration across the United States. Public shooting ranges provide hunters a place to sight in rifles and pattern shotguns before hunting seasons, for people to take firearm safety and hunter education courses and for recreational target shooters to enjoy their sport.

The “Range Bill” has been a sustained-effort priority for NSSF and is a crucial step forward in promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports. In the course of more than a decade, versions of the bipartisan legislation were introduced as 29 different numbered bills and 15 separate legislative packages, starting with the 110th Congress. While it had broad support from both Republicans and Democrats in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, previous attempts to pass the legislation were derailed for reasons unrelated to the actual legislation.

The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, also known as the “Range Bill,” allows states to use their Pittman-Robertson Fund allocations to begin construction of new ranges, or improve existing state-run public recreational shooting ranges. Prior to this law’s enactment, states were required to put up 25 percent of the cost of range construction projects to access the matching 75 percent of Pittman-Robertson funds. Now, states can access those funds with a 10 percent match and will have five fiscal years to acquire land for range construction or expansion projects.

Pittman-Robertson funds are derived from an excise tax paid by firearms and ammunition manufacturers. Since 1937, the fund has generated more than $12.5 billion funding 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. This means today’s recreational target shooter is an overwhelming contributor to conservation through excise tax support.

A recurring concern of recreational shooters, and those considering entering the sport, is proximity and access to a safe range. This new law would make it easier for states to enable recreational target shooters to enter the sport, which in turn would generate continued contributions to Pittman-Robertson funds and the conservation programs which it supports.

NSSF is especially grateful to U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), as well as U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), John Boozman, (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). All are original co-sponsors on both the House and Senate versions of the legislation.

NSSF Praises President Trump’s Rejection of U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association, praised President Donald Trump’s rejection of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty that was signed by the Obama Administration, but was never ratified. President Trump delivered the announcement at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Friday, April 26, noting, “We’re taking our signature back. The U.N. will soon receive notice that we are rejecting this treaty.

President Trump’s rejection of this ill-advised treaty is a win for the American people and a win for America’s firearms and ammunition industry” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “President Trump, today, reasserted American sovereignty of our inherent rights. This demonstrates again that this administration continues to deliver on the promise to protect Second Amendment rights and value the contributions of the firearms industry to our freedoms and economy.”

The U.N Arms Trade Treaty was signed by Secretary of State John Kerry in 2013 and sent to the U.S. Senate for ratification but was never taken up for a vote. The treaty was intended to control the international trade in firearms under the guise of protecting human rights. The National Shooting Sports Foundation strongly opposed the treaty as it would have exposed the firearms and ammunition industry to a confusing web of international regulations that would not have contributed to curbing illegal arms trafficking, protecting human rights or guaranteeing the rights of United States citizens.

International arms sales remain highly regulated by U.S. law and this action has no effect upon these stringent export controls.

NSSF Applauds U.S. House of Representatives Introduction of Freedom Financing Act

Legislation Protects Firearms Industry from Corporate Discrimination

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association, applauded the introduction of H.R. 2079, the Freedom Financing Act in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Roger Williams (R-Texas). The legislation would ensure large financial institutions cannot deny service to certain constitutionally-protected industries that are fully compliant with all laws and statutes.

Americans must be reassured their tax dollars aren’t weaponized by corporate institutions attempting to eliminate a lawful industry that has become politically-disfavored by boardroom bureaucrats,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Congressman Williams’s leadership is crucial to ensure banks which have enjoyed bailouts and insurance programs funded by taxpayers aren’t allowed to benefit from these protections while purposefully discriminating against the industry that provides the means for Second Amendment rights. These policies are debated and created by the elected officials Americans vote to represent their interests, not by faceless corporate boards representing the interest of the few. We applaud Congressman Williams for his clear vision in correcting this abuse of American trust and taxpayer dollars.

The Freedom Financing Act focuses on the most egregious examples of legal commerce being banned through corporate policy that target firearms manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers. Because the intent is not to force financial institutions to do business with certain industries – but rather to ensure that legal commerce is not prohibited – this legislation exempts financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets.

The firearms industry has opposed moves by Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase when they published policies to deny financial services to AR-15 manufacturers and retailers to adopt restrictive sales policies, products that are legal under federal law for ownership and commonly-owned, with more than 16 million modern sporting rifles in private ownership today. Public policy is the responsibility of elected leaders and not dictated by a select few of unaccountable corporate boardroom bureaucrats. Policies to discriminate a lawful industry are a threat to American’s ability to choose the firearms that best meet their needs for self-defense, hunting and recreational target shooting.

NSSF Praises U.S. House Bipartisan Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act

Legislation Frees Funds for State Range Construction

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the firearms industry trade association, praised the introduction of H.R. 1222, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act of 2019 in the U.S House of Representatives. The bipartisan bill was authored by Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Rob Bishop (R-Utah).

“This is crucial legislation that 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 Vice President 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. NSSF thanks Congressmen Kind and Bishop for recognizing the critical need and providing solutions to benefit recreational shooters and conservation.”

This legislation has been introduced in previous Congressional sessions, where it received overwhelming bipartisan support, but was never advanced to the president. The funds are derived from an existing excise taxes paid by firearms and ammunition manufacturers since 1937, with almost $12.1 billion raised for wildlife conservation supported by the sale of these products.

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. The legislation would provide states greater flexibility on their ability to use Pittman-Robertson excise tax funds by increasing the cap of federal funds accrued for the creation and maintenance of shooting ranges from 75 to 90 percent. This means states could begin work on range facilities with 10 percent matching funds, instead of the current 25 percent. It would also enable excise funds to be made available and accrue for five years for land acquisition or range construction.

Target shooters are largely responsible for the funds derived through excise taxes from the sale of firearms and ammunition products. That money is directly responsible for habitat conservation, recreational shooting and wildlife management, making gun owners, hunters and manufacturers largest financial supporters of wildlife conservation throughout the United States. The development of new ranges will help encourage participation in hunting and the shooting sports, ensuring wildlife conservation funding through the Pittman-Robertson Act will continue for generations to come.

NSSF Announces $100K Grant Program for First Shots Host Ranges

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is pleased to announce that it has established a $100,000 grant program to be used by firearms ranges in support of their NSSF First Shots® introductory shooting programs. First Shots events serve the dual purpose of providing a safe, fun and educational introduction experience for people new to firearms and shooting while fostering community outreach and developing a new customer base for our member ranges.

The grant program is now open for application by shooting ranges and organizations. Applicants may apply for grants of up to $2,500 to be used to create or enhance marketing and advertising efforts for First Shots events held preferably before April 1, 2019, or within 90 days of receiving the grant. They can also apply a portion of their funds for any necessary equipment purchases such as loaner firearms. The grant program is open to current and former NSSF Member First Shots host ranges and organizations, as well as those ranges just getting started with or that plan to start hosting First Shots events for the first time. New and former First Shots host ranges will be given Grant award priority.

“First Shots is well-established as a program that connects people interested in learning about firearms safety and target shooting with the ranges and instructors in their communities, and it’s proven to not only get these people to the range for their first shots but to keep them coming back,” said Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Shooting Range Services. “We expect this grant program, along with the additional program support we offer our First Shots host ranges, will go a long way towards improving shooting sports safety training, participation numbers and enhancing the viability of our Member ranges.”

Ranges and organizations that wish to apply for a portion of the First Shots Grant Program funds are encouraged to do so at their earliest opportunity. For more information, contact Ann Gamauf, NSSF Retail & Range Business Development Coordinator, at agamauf@nssf.org

NSSF Program Hunting Works for America Expands Again

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is proud to announce that the Hunting Works For America footprint has grown to include Maryland. Hunting Works For Maryland joins 18 other states, including most recently Ohio, as the 19th state to be included in the award-winning Hunting Works For America program.

Hunting Works For America, through its state chapters, is an initiative that seeks to bring a broad range of stakeholders together in order to educate the public and elected officials about the importance of hunting. Shooting sports organizations, conservation groups, businesses, and other non-traditional hunting entities such as chambers of commerce, convention and visitors bureaus and other trade associations, have come together to form Hunting Works For Maryland and share their interest in the economic impact of hunting.

The newly formed Hunting Works For Maryland partnership has more than 65 partner organizations and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come.

“A strong appreciation for the outdoors and outdoor sports is evident in the money spent by the 88,000 people who hunt in Maryland every year,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for NSSF. “Hunters contribute $32 million in state and local taxes each year, thanks to their considerable spending on their favorite pastime. The average hunter in Maryland spends $3,000 a year, which translates into $128 million in salaries and wages and an economic ripple effect of $401 million.”

Taxes, fees and surcharges that hunters pay when they purchase licenses, tags and equipment fund Maryland’s conservation efforts, which benefit game and non-game species, as well as anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

Hunting Works For Maryland launched today with a press conference across the street from the State House in the Annapolis Visitors Center. It is co-chaired by Deb Carter, Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds; Ruth Toomey, Executive Director of the Maryland Tourism Coalition; Senator John Astle representing District 30; and Delores Jones state, General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Chestertown.

Hunting Works For America launched in 2010 with just three states: Arizona, Minnesota and North Dakota. Since then the program has grown, adding chapters in Iowa, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alabama, South Dakota, New York, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Utah. All totaled, the Hunting Works For America program now represents more than 1,500 businesses, organizations and associations representing tens of thousands of stakeholders.

Becoming a member of Hunting Works for Maryland is absolutely free of charge. Visit www.HuntingWorksforMD.com to learn more about becoming a partner and the program, including leadership, members, social media opportunities and local hunting seasons.

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