House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Congress has no shortage of “must-do” chores on the list in the face of a potential government shutdown. Among those tasks is passing legislation to restore federal funding for hunter education and archery in the schools.

Congress can tell President Joe Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona that their attempt to starve schools of these essential programs is over. The U.S. House of Representatives just passed U.S. Rep. Mark Green’s (R-Tenn.) H.R. 5110, the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act, in an overwhelming 425-1 vote. The bill was unanimously approved in a bipartisan fashion by the House Education and Workforce Committee. It’s now on to the U.S. Senate, which now must act to save hunter education funding for schools.

The NSSF-supported bill would clarify that school programs for educating students in archery, hunting or other shooting sports are eligible for funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

A Brief History Lesson

White House officials attempted to skirt by unnoticed in their decision to withhold critical federal funding under the ESEA of 1965 for elementary and secondary schools nationwide with hunting or archery programs in their curriculum. There was no fanfare behind the decision. No announcement from The White House Rose Garden or major presidential speech. Instead, Sec. Cardona simply confirmed the wrongheaded decision when they could no longer ignore requests for comments.

“This prohibition applies to all ESEA funds,” a Department of Education spokesperson said, according to Fox News. “The prohibition went into effect immediately on June 25, 2022, and applies to all existing and future awards under all ESEA programs. The Department is administering the bipartisan law as written by Congress.”

The decision to withhold the ESEA funds for hunting and archery programs under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) impacts thousands of schools and millions of American students.

Texas Senator John Cornyn was a primary supporter of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, joining with Connecticut’s Chris Murphy to get the gun control law passed after the Uvalde shooting. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Congressman Green’s bill to restore and protect funding for scholastic hunter education and archery would seem like an educational no-brainer. Except President Biden, through Sec. Cardona, deliberately misread the text and intent of BSCA to shut off funding for hunter education and archery programs in schools. That move enraged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and both sides of Capitol Hill. Multiple letters have been sent to Sec. Cardona to reverse course.

Congress Gives Failing Grade

“Defunding shooting sports in schools would be a disservice to students,” Rep. Green said in a press release. “These extracurricular activities are keeping kids out of trouble, making them more focused at school, helping them build community, and giving them scholarship opportunities. Sports like archery and trap shooting are some of the fastest-growing sports in the country.”

The time to strike back against this executive overreach to wipe away true firearm safety programs is now. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and both sides of Capitol Hill are outraged that the Biden administration conjured up the idea that the BSCA gave them authority to deny schools funding for the programs.

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) introduced H. Res. 615, a House resolution condemning the Biden administration’s attack on schools that educate students on responsible firearm handling.

Joe Biden angry point gesture
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“President Biden’s push to outlaw hunter and archery programs deprives Wisconsin students of valuable hunting lessons that make our children more comfortable outdoors,” Rep. Grothman said in a press release. “The federal government has no place in our schools. The decision to weaponize federal funds to target schools offering this training is a gross abuse of power that goes against the best interest of America’s next generation.”

Congressman Bruce Westerman, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, wrote a column denouncing the Biden administration’s ham-fisted effort to cut off funding for the scholastic hunter education and archery.

“Not only will students lose the positive social, academic, and mental health benefits associated with these programs, but the misinterpretation also undermines opportunities for hunter education courses that have been accredited with reducing fatalities and injuries related to hunting by over 80% since 1959,” Chairman Westerman wrote. “I signed onto the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act to ensure that this does not happen again.”

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, a bipartisan and bicameral caucus of Capitol Hill lawmakers, noted that this politically-driven blockage of hunter education funding will negatively impact over 1.3 million students in 9,000 schools across 49 states.

“Unfortunately, by misinterpreting the legislative intent of the BSCA, the Department will soon negatively impact millions of students across the country,” the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus letter reads. “These programs are popular among teachers and school personnel because success in archery, hunting, target shooting, and outdoor classes can be achieved by students of all genders, abilities, and backgrounds.”

In the Senate, letters have been sent to The White House and Education Department to reverse course. Among the most recent was one bipartisan letter signed by 17 senators.

“Unfortunately, and contrary to Congressional intent, the Department of Education has misinterpreted the language to exclude certain educational activities from receiving federal resources,” wrote Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), leading the letter.

That was backed up by recommendations to the Senate Appropriations Committee to include language in the upcoming FY24 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill to reject the Education Department’s interpretation of BSCA. That letter was signed by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), one of the Senate’s most vocal supporters of gun control.

Before that, 19 Republican senators, led by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), wrote to President Biden urging him to reverse course on the decision to hunter education funding.

florida SB 1310 kids gun pictures photos social media

“The Biden Administration’s purposeful misinterpretation of the gun control bill is attempting to take away valuable programs from students across the country. Hunter education and archery programs are beneficial to students both in rural and urban areas,” Sen. Barrasso wrote, adding, “This outrageous overreach is an attack on hunters and outdoor recreation that must be addressed.”

Action Now

Any observer of Capitol Hill knows that angst over politically-driven policies to satisfy special interests is easy. Action is harder. It is also more concrete. There are a few things that Congress can agree upon, but this issue stands apart. There is wide bipartisan consensus that the Biden administration’s attempt to throttle scholastic hunter education and archery is wrong. The chance to remedy it is now.

The House of Representatives has acted on this urgently-needed legislation and sent it to the Senate, where it also deserves a speedy vote. Congress must tell The White House that true firearm safety and proven programs that benefit children from all walks of life must not be tampered with to appease special interests.

Congress must pass the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. Congress is going to vote themselves a raise.
    The rest of the stuff doesn’t affect them so they dont care.
    Isnt it about time theBiden started a ministry of propaganda? Hire around 84,000 or so just to keep it running smoothly

  2. Cardona has already said he’s not going to change his edict unless Congress revisits the BSCA. Bureacrats are notoriously bull headed azzholes and you’ve got to smack them with a 4×4 just to get there attention. This entire mess around the BSCA will end up in the SCoTUS.

    • “Cardona has already said he’s not going to change his edict unless Congress revisits the BSCA.”

      Just the school hunting and archery education provisions?

      Hell Fucking NO.

      Only every last bit of the anti-2A crapola being gone is acceptable.

      Yeah, we may get it ruled unconstitutional some day, but that takes *years* to accomplish, and a civil right delayed is a bona-fide civil right denied… 🙁

  3. So the republicants steal a huge chunk of your rights then give you back the tiniest sliver and you will heap praises on them. Thank the holy rino in the sky otherwise elmer fudd wouldn’t have a school huntin program.

  4. The Left will b!tch and moan about the “military-industrial complex”. And in reality they have funded it for decades now.
    The real threat to this country is federal funding for education. With all its strings attached. Something that president Eisenhower warned everyone about.

    The enemies of freedom will always use the “military and industrial complex” as a distraction.

    The gun industry supplies more guns to the civilian market than the military and civilian law enforcement combined.
    The ship builders need the government. But the gun industry will not blow away in the wind. If they don’t get a government contract.

    • The people who hate guns have always made the gun industry, part of the cornerstone foundation, of the ghostly, mythical, “military and industrial complex.”

  5. Al Sharpton Claims Gun Control Is Civil Rights Because People Can’t Do Mass Killings Without AR-15s.

    • but never mind its a lie Al.

      anyway… Biden and the democrats have literally mass murdered (by causing their deaths) ~800,000 ‘migrants’ so far through their purposely not securing the border invasion policy, and not even one AR-15 was used Al, it just took a pen and a dementia ridden tyrant called Joe Biden.

      • When it comes to who is first to surrender their Gun Rights rest assured Jim Crow Gun Control joe has fools like al sharpton in mind…ol’ joe is going to keep his guns and fools like al will be picking cotton…That’s how Gun Control has always worked al sharpton you Gun Control History illiterate fool.

    • And there are many Jewish people who will call you anti Semitic. Because you fight for your right to keep and bear arms.
      Just as there are stupid ignorant blacks who will call you racist. For the same reason. And there are stupid ignorant h0m0sexuals. Who will call you a hom0phobe???
      Because you fight for your second amendment to civil rights.

      Being called names by people who hate you, for your fighting to keep your civil rights. That’s just part of the cost. To keep your rights.

      • To the left wing, yes actually the left wing will actually say it in some way, this, or how the left wing decides who is and who is not racist and when racism exists or not…

        1. If you are born white you are born a racist and need to not be racist by being left wing or trans.

        2. If you are white you are racist unless you are left wing then its ok to be racist.

        3. If you are not black you are racist.

        4. If you don’t agree with the left wing you are racist, except if you are black in which case you ‘ain’t black’ (as Joe is so fond of putting it) if you don’t agree with the left wing so that makes you a racist.

        5. If you are not black and are left wing you are still racist but now you are a left wing racist so its ok and its called ‘social justice’.

        6. If you are black and left wing its ok to be racist.

        7. If you are not a left wing black or not a left wing white its ok if you are a target of racism until the left wing needs votes then its not ok and you need ‘social justice’ and ‘criminal justice reform’.

        8. If you are not left wing then you are racist.

        9. If you are left wing its ok to be racist and it is called ‘social justice’ so it was OK that BLM looted and burned black and white and Asian communities and businesses and if you didn’t agree with it you are racist, except if you are black and donated to BLM so their leadership could afford their nice homes and cars and lavish life styles that you can’t afford in which case you are ‘oppressed by racists’ and need BLM to help you not be oppressed by donating to BLM.

        10. If you are white and felt ‘white privilege guilt’ because the left wing said so and you donated money to any left wing ‘anti-racism or social justice causes’ you are absolved of any racism that you might do until its time to donate again.

        11. If you defend your self against a violent criminal and use a firearm for that defense you are a far-right wing extremist racist unless you are left wing then its ok because you are a ‘victim’.

        12. If you own/buy a gun you are automatically a far-right wing extremist racist except if you are left wing then you are just exercising your constitutional right and its ok and you are not an extremist racist.

        13. If you are white and carry a gun under a states permit-less carry laws you are automatically a far-right wing extremist racist yahoo gun slinger causing rivers of blood in the streets and killing every child you see except if you are left wing then you are just exercising your constitutional right and its ok.

        14. If you are black and carry a gun under a states permit-less carry laws you are automatically a far-right wing extremist racist yahoo gun slinger causing rivers of blood in the streets AND killing every ‘child’ you see in the black community except if you are left wing then you are just exercising your constitutional right and its ok.

        15. If you are not a left wing black or white and carry a gun under a states permit-less carry laws you are automatically a far-right wing extremist racist yahoo gun slinger causing rivers of blood in the streets AND killing every ‘child’ you see except when the left wing needs votes to elect a progressive democrat to office then if not white you are a ‘vulnerable sacred community’ that needs to be protected by a progressive democrat releasing violent criminals out into society so your community can be preyed upon so they can give you more protection by destroying your city and raising your taxes and de-funding police and making crimnal-gang-member-youth ‘misunderstood’ as they rob you business’s blind and try to kill as many citizens as they wish when they want.

        16. If you object to anything the left wing does and are not left wing you are racist except if you are left wing then you are either trans and its ok or its called a ‘discussion’ and its ok.

        17. If you object to a trans person indoctrinating your 6 year old child into pornographic sexual activity you are racist and a transphobe and perpetuating a trans-genocide, unless you are left wing then its something you will be quilted and browbeat into letting it happen so little Jimmy or Sally can be happy being used like a two dollar hooker and then butchered to create an imaginary gender for them so the trans community will be happy.

        18 …. and the list continues, too long to continue here with all the various conditions under which you may or may not be racist …..

  6. King Brandon has edicted the law from his palace on Pennsylvania Avenue. You commoners need to shut up, sit down, and obey the King! /sarcasm

  7. LOL, no. Just no. Not even close. Grow a brain and stop playing on the Lefties territory FFS.

    “Congress needs to…” nearly always starts a bullshit statement and this is no different. Fuck you, no.

    Congress needs to go back to Constitutional principles. That means the Feds get out of education because it’s not their business. Stop stealing state money and returning it with strings attached. And no, printing it isn’t better.

    Disband the Department of Education entirely and then fuck the hell off. Secretary Cardona can go make “wrongheaded decisions” at a Burger King.

  8. If the individual States want to fund education that’s up to them. The only education the federal government needs to fund, Are the air force academy, the army academy and the Navy Academy.
    And the coast guard Academy.

  9. We need to stop looking to Congress, DC even parties for solutions.
    We need to act locally.
    At a recent gun show, an American Legion post was sponsoring a three position air rifle team. I donated $20. Like to see that kind of thing at every American Legion, VFW, Kiwanis, Rotery and those guys with the little funny red hats.

  10. Congress overwhelmingly passes bill protecting funding school hunting, archery courses</strong?
    "Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill to protect federal funding for school hunting and archery courses after the Biden administration interpreted the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to prohibit money from going toward shooting sports activities.

    Republican Reps. Mark Green of Tennessee and Richard Hudson of North Carolina introduced the "Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act" last month, and it passed the House on Tuesday in a 424-1 vote, with the lone "Nay" coming from Texas Democrat Rep. Veronica Escobar.

    The Senate passed the legislation Wednesday by unanimous consent."

    I am some what surprised it had that much support.
    A nice FU to the Biden admin.

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