The U.S. House of Representatives has passed The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act. The Senate passed the identical bill earlier in April and will be sent to President Trump for his expected signature to become law.
Known as the Range Bill, this legislation was originally part of a package of sportsmen’s bills. It nearly passed late in the last Congressional session but stalled on a technical issue that was quickly fixed by this Congress. The bill allows states to construct or improve public recreational shooting ranges using more of their Pittman-Robertson (PR) funds than under current law. States would now be able to use PR dollars to pay for up to 90 percent of construction for shooting ranges (up from 75 percent) under the current law.
“The Club has worked hard to enact this bill and we commend Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate for working together to benefit state wildlife agencies and recreational target shooters,” said Timothy C. Brady, president of the Boone and Crockett Club. “Public shooting ranges provide hunters and shooters a safe place to practice with their firearms, take safety and hunter education courses, and to enjoy recreational shooting with friends and families.”
The Pittman-Robertson Act, crafted by the Boone and Crockett Club, passed Congress in 1937. It places an excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition to be distributed to state wildlife agencies for wildlife conservation and other measures, including for public shooting ranges. It remains the most significant piece of conservation funding legislation in the U.S. and any other country.
Since 1937, the fund has generated more than $12.1 billion that has funded wildlife conservation and firearm safety education programs in all 50 states. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates more than 80 percent of PR excise tax contributions are generated by sales attributed to recreational shooting. Recreational target shooters are an overwhelming contributor to conservation through this excise tax support.