Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act
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You might think it would be impossible to get a bill through the current House of Representatives that even remotely promotes the shooting sports, but that has actually happened. The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act — also known as the Range Bill — passed the House on a bipartisan voice vote yesterday.

The bill allows for easier access to Pittman-Robertson funds — that’s the tax you pay on every single gun and round of ammunition — to build more shooting ranges around the country and maintain existing facilities. Here’s the NSSF’s press release with more details . . .

NSSF Commends Congress’s Passage of ‘Range Bill’

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the firearms industry trade association, commends Congress’s passage of the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (H.R. 1222). The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Companion legislation (S. 94) was previously passed by the Senate. The bill will return to the Senate for a legislative formality, but is expected to pass by unanimous consent as the bill language is identical, and be sent to President Donald Trump for enactment.

“This has been a key piece of legislation for NSSF to grow and sustain hunting and recreational target shooting that will additionally benefit wildlife conservation. We are deeply appreciative to our leaders on both sides of the aisle and on both sides of Capitol Hill for their perseverance and foresight to benefit state wildlife agencies, recreational target shooting and sustained wildlife conservation,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President 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. 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.”

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.

Pittman-Robertson funds are derived from an excise tax paid by firearms and ammunition manufacturers. 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. This means today’s recreational target shooter is an overwhelming contributor to conservation through excise tax support.

NSSF works diligently to remove barriers of entry to hunting and the shooting sports. A recurring concern of those considering taking up recreational shooting as a sport cite having access to a safe range as a priority concern. This legislation’s passage 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.

This legislation has long been a top priority for NSSF as a crucial step forward in promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports. It has been introduced as 29 different numbered bills, since the 110th Congress. In those 14 years, the legislation was included in 15 separate bill packages, that for reasons unrelated to the “Range Bill” failed to reach Congressional consensus.

NSSF is especially grateful to Reps. Kind, Bishop and Hunter, 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-Utah) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). All are original co-sponsors.

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    • Double edged sword. I know some dems who support this simply because they are so very tired of every object in the woods getting all shot up by the local “sportsmen.”

      Every road sign, power pole, phone line box, pile of garbage, forest service gates, transformers, bald eagles, you name it gets shot to pieces. Hmm, maybe there’s an idea for a new product. Range targets that look just like road signs. Never mind. Been done.

        • There’s a small hilltop observatory near where I live and it is constantly shot at causing leakage and damage to the telescope. But a couple years ago there was an astronomer working in the observatory one evening when he came under fire by a handful of yahoos who were promptly caught by the cops after the astronomer hid and called it in.

          The idiots with the guns actually said that they’d shot the observatory before and the guy in the building should have let them know he was in there.

        • Similar thing around here but it was a ranger in a fire lookout getting shot at by some drunks. Drunks acted innocent because nobody is ever up in those things.

      • Yep. It gets old and makes responsible gun owners look bad. People setting up and shooting rifles across forest service roads was one of the dumbest things I’ve seen… roads used by 4x4s, ATVs, hikers, etc.

    • No offense folks, but a tax on guns and ammo sounds like an “infringement” to me.
      The Pittman-Robinson Tax has always been an unholy alliance between the Fudds and the Gun Controllers.
      P.S. Sponsor Duncan Hunter Jr. and his wife are set for trial in September 2019 on 60 counts of misuse of $250,000 in campaign funds.

      • The MSM and CA demtards have for decades had a burning white hot frothing at the mouth hatred for Duncan Hunter. That is enough reasonable doubt for me.

      • I sat on the Iowa commttee that disbursed our P-R funding. We’d allocate grants to ranges and other areas that were of value to the general public.

        Whether or not one believes in the value of Pittman Robertson in its original intent, it’s pretty unlikely most of us would ever see deer or elk today after the over harvesting in the late 19th and early 20th Century. It was a noble gesture and had a positive affect on game numbers and habitat set-aside. Main issues today have been the Left and others trying to abscond with funds for their own pet projects. It wasn’t all that long ago that Teddy Kennedy and others wanted to raid the fund to provide money to victims of gun crime. It took a major effort to derail that. Personally, I don’t see this tax, nor your state’s sales tax as an infringement on my right. The wonder is that some federal or state agency hasn’t come up with a scheme to try to collect fees from private transfers under the P-R heading…

  1. A “Voice Vote” will record the Vote without a Name attached to the Vote. So no one can be confronted at a later date as to how they voted…

    • Gracias…I figured there would have to be some deniability involved just to even get this to a vote in the House as currently configured…

      • That’s how the ACA got approved by the US House of Representatives! The US Congressional Record, recorded that 419 House Representatives Voted Fore the ACA and no one opposed it, by not recording any names…

        • Hmmm…I seem to remember the ACA passing by a slimmer recorded majority than that, one of 219- 212 with 34 D voting nay and all 178 R voting N on the previously passed Senate bill (which also passed on a virtually party line vote. The rub here was that the D votes had to wait to vote to make sure that leadership still had enough to votes pass the ACA without them.

        • A “Super Majority Vote” of 290 or greater in the US House of Representatives is Presidential Veto Proof. A “Simple Majority” ISN’T! If the ACA passed by the Slimmest of Votes as you say. How come, can’t Donald Trump simply use an Executive Order to Veto IT away…

        • Leslie,

          Once United States Congress passes a bill and the President of the United States signs it into law, neither that same President nor future Presidents can “veto” that law with an executive order.

        • And Donal Trump as President can’t use an Executive Order or Executive Memorandum to simple Cancel Out a Signature by President Barrack Obama as he is doing now. To Rewrite Obama’s Histories as President…

        • Leslie…. do you not know how bills are passed? The House and Senate write and vote on a bill, then it gets sent to the president to sign. ONLY then can a bill be vetoed. Trump cannot go back and veto bills passed by a previous congress and signed into law by a previous president.

        • Leslie,

          Here is how vetoes and a “veto-proof majority” works.

          Congress passes a bill. Whether or not the bill passed with a simple majority, a super majority, or unanimous vote doesn’t matter. The President still has to sign it before it becomes law. If the President signs the bill, it becomes law and stays law forever (unless Congress and the President create a law in the future which repeals it). Or the President can reject the bill and veto it.

          If the President vetoes the bill, Congress can do nothing and the bill is dead. Or Congress can override the President’s veto and the bill becomes law. Note that Congress must pass that same bill a second time with at least 2/3rds majority to override the President’s veto.

          I hope that helps sort everything out for you.

    • That’s news to me. So much for “transparency”. Too afraid to take the heat if the media is against what you just voted for/against?

  2. See, irrefutable proof that the Dems don’t really want to take your guns and that you have NOTHING to worry about. 😏

  3. More ranges with better facilities will become the only place where you can store your evil military rifle.
    No need to go door to door when they’re all in one place.

  4. Thank you for the update Dan. I was unaware of this legislation. A small victory for ALL firearm owners…target, recreational, hunters, clays, etc.

    • Never could figure out how it is OK to tax firearms but cant charge to register to vote can’t have a poll tax. They have had in the past around the country questions about firearm knowledge you had to answer prior to getting a permit to purchase. (I live in Michigan) But can’t require any test of literacy or even require the ballots be in English only. I guess some rights are more right than others to the Gov’t and courts.

  5. Off to the Republican Senate were it will languish and die. Because Trump-hating RINOS can capitulate to the left and snatch defeat from the jaws victory!

  6. So, the National Shooting Sports Foundation lobbied Congress to pass this law. This seems to be yet another example illustrating that the National Rifle Association is becoming less and less relevant. (I would think that lobbying Congress to facilitate creation of more shooting ranges would be a core priority for the NRA. Go figure.)

    • “This means today’s recreational target shooter is an overwhelming contributor to conservation through excise tax support.”

      So a tax on the 2nd is supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation? How exactly is that any good?

      • Binder,

        Oh, that is an interesting perspective. I personally object to taxation on fundamental, unalienable rights, which includes the Pittman-Robertson act.

        Now I have to go away and ponder on this.

        • If the money is going to be spent anyways, wouldn’t you rather it be spent on gun ranges rather than *anything* a Leftist would spend it on?

      • Thanks for the Link. I just wish the NRA would promote this to the wider gun ownership population. I learned this several years ago myself.

        • Unfortunately any guidance by the NRA comes with a Price Tag when it comes to Firing Range designs, the US Military doesn’t.

    • The tax has been in affect since the 1930s. It’s paid by the producers when they make a new firearm or produce a round of ammo and is already figured into the price when we buy something. The new bill just makes these funds available to states when they have 10% of the money for a public range project instead of 25%. They get a grant to cover 90% instead of 75%.

  7. Some of those Democrats need a decent place to shoot, too. It is about time. Yesterday I did some research and discover that between hunters, fisher people and nature watchers there was $156,900,000,000 spent in 2016, the most recent year of complete figures. And 103.7 million people were involved. See 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. So don’t let anybody tell you hunting and fishing are no big deal. Hunting/fishing spent 81 billion and Wildlife watchers, 75.9 billion, but how much wildlife watching would there be were it not for Pittman-Robertson?

  8. I agree with those who say why are we cheering being taxed? ALL TAXATION IS THEFT!

    And this all goes to state fish and game or wildlife departments. Here in PA to use a Game Commission range you have to have a hunting license, or buy a permit. Then you can’t have more than 3 rounds in a magazine, including a tubular .22 magazine. The fine is something like $100 per round over 3 if they catch you. There is also no rapid fire, but with the 3 round limit you really couldn’t anyway.

    Most of us belong to private clubs or use commercial pay by the hour ranges, none of which get any of this money. And they shouldn’t. But neither should state government agencies who are going to use it for other things and not for ranges anyway.

    We don’t even know when we are being raped anymore.

    • The Crimson Pirate,

      Much (perhaps even most) of our taxation is theft. Some taxation is righteous.

      I will argue that taxes which pay for infrastructure, emergency services, criminal justice system, and national defense would be righteous if spent wisely and efficiently.

      Consider infrastructure for example. We all benefit handsomely from roads and bridges (yes, even people who do not drive on those roads since they receive products and services from people who use the roads to deliver those products and services). Therefore, we should all pay for those roads and bridges. Any of us who would use those roads and bridges without paying for them is stealing from the rest of us who did pay for them.

      We all benefit from emergency services such as dispatch centers and fire departments. And we all benefit from police agencies and the courts when they investigate, track down, prosecute, and imprison thugs, thieves, rapists, and murderers. Since we all benefit from all of those examples, we should pay for them.

      The key to all of that is restricting tax collection only for core objectives that truly benefit everyone handsomely — and spending those taxes wisely on efficient solutions. And, we should only be collecting taxes for core objectives that cannot realistically be privatized. That means all of the entitlements and many/most of the alphabet oversight agencies should go away.

  9. the money coming back will likely have all sorts of strings attached
    just like highway and school funding does
    but its refreshing indeed to see some good stuff coming out of the congress in a reasonable amount of time and without the usual partisan caterwauling
    even if some of the motives are suspect

  10. Look who is in power. Look who anticipates being in power. Hughes’ Amendment …’86…what kind of Trojan Horse (not politically correct, I know, apologies to any Trojans and/or horses I may have inadvertently offended) does this bill contain? If the government told me it was 100% not going to rain tomorrow, I would go out and buy 2 umbrellas today.-30-

  11. This is all well and good I guess, but consider this:

    Maryland has a really nice gun range over in Elk Neck State Park. I’m in Delaware, not too far away, and I’d like to use it, BUT…

    I can’t take the AR because those are banned in Maryland.
    I can’t take the standard capacity magazines that will fit my bolt guns, because anything over 10 rounds is illegal in Maryland.
    I can’t take the pistols, because they all have standard capacity magazines over 10 rounds.
    I’m not even sure I can take the bolt guns because the magazines are detachable, and the law seems to be kind of fuzzy on this point, but it’s not worth the risk.

    So, the only gun I can take to Elk Neck is a very old, single-shot .22 plinker that I’ve had forever. A kid’s gun, really, the kind they used to sell for $7.99 in the Sears and Roebuck catalog. It’s a lot of fun in it’s own way, but not worth driving 20 miles and spending $10 for a day at the range.

  12. Why should the federal government have a right to tax every gun and all ammunition? The power to tax is the power to destroy! A better bill would have abolished the tax entirely. Merely redirecting some of the money is hardly a “win”.

  13. *Void in California

    We’re losing gun ranges and gun stores here faster than you can blink. (In my county, there is only one public-access outdoor range which is located on a coast guard base. There are zero indoor ranges except one private club that only allows 22s and non-magnum pistols. One gun store burned in a wildfire and another went out of business in 2017.

  14. Great news. Good place for Teachers and Faculty to learn, practice and get ready to protect their students.

  15. Anytime the government gets involved it’s trouble. I would imagine anyone using these ranges, would be required to register, so the Dems would know where to go to round up the guns.

    • I sort of wonder if this House Bill, is a “Second Bite of the Apple” attempt by the US House of Representatives to push through “The SHARE Act” (The Sportsman Heritage And Recreational Enhancement) Act of 2017. That “Stalled” in September 18, 2017 and never got voted on…

  16. I read all the different comments. I understand the feelings of most, one way or another.
    My comments are to those who do not respect or understand guns. No matter what type of gun you shoot, you must respect what a gun can do. This has to be taught while young. l grew up in the Dakotas.
    I understand those who grew up in the urban areas don’t generally get the same chances with guns as young people in rural areas, or the same opportunities I had.
    Target practices needs to be done right and safely.
    Shooting Ranges would help young people, especially young boys who are curious about guns no matter were they live. In Switzerland all people are required to learn how to safely shoot and handle a gun. Gun killings and other gun problems are minimal. They are taught.
    Since I was small I was taught a gun can kill you, never point at anything you don’t intend to shoot. I am 78 yrs. old now and still love to hunt. Never shot anything I don’t intend on eating. For year I loved trap shooting at clay pigeons. better than bowling.
    My daughter has sons, she is not high on them having guns or hunting, I told her when I was in the Army I service with those who never handled a rifle. If your sons life depended on a fellow soldier, who would you want them to service with or back them up. Someone who knows how to shoot, or someone who has no knowledge of a gun. Many soldiers are killed by friendly fire. This is a fact in Wars. Lets all become less anti about things and do what will benefit us all. Shooting ranges can be a good thing, if done right. Govt. could spend a little for instructions and save a lot. Might even help the idiots in congress who don’t know one end of a rifle from the other.

  17. Yes this is a politically progressive action. “Taxation is theft”. And many of the above comments don’t like it on principle. But the greatest pro gun person we have every had was also president of the united states. President Theodore Roosevelt the creator of the “Suppressed lever action rifle.” Or at least he made it popular.

    Does anyone really believe we would have any significant wildlife populations without a national standard for wildlife management across state lines? That is part of Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy to the gun owners of this country. In less than 3 years the entire elk population was wiped out in kentucky during the 1700s. In the 1980s a private /government project reintroduced the elk back into the kentucky wilderness.

    If you want a smaller government then the Atheists need to get out of the way and let churches go back to being the ONLY support for families and individuals in need. But Atheist are socialist progressive in their political orientation. They like controlling people.
    And you can do that with a Government Welfare Industrial Complex.

  18. Hope we never have to worry about this but, what if the dems get into the Oval Office? They want our guns so are we going to camp at the ranges just so we can use them? Of course, we will have new targets. Just wondering.

  19. I am an avid hunter and gun owner. However, I am of the opinion that impinging on everyone’s rights because a few abuse the privilege is not acceptable. The cure is to hold guilty individuates accountable in a big way. First allow for rewards to informers, next stiff penalties and public shaming, finally removal of privileges that are being abused. The bill, if applied correctly will be a benefit.

    • Hey-

      Pittman-Robertson been the law since 1934. It came about due to the demands and concerns of sportman when the game in the US was literally nearly all gone. It’s affect was wildly successful which is almost an impossiblitly where any federal program is concerned. Doesn’t everyone know about this stuff???

      Where have you jokers been? Unbelievable people around here…


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