Bill Would Provide Support for Public Shooting Ranges for Gun Owners and Sportsmen
Today, U.S. Senator Mark Udall announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation designed to improve and create more public shooting ranges for gun owners and sportsmen. The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho.
The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act would allow states to allocate a greater proportion of the federal Pittman-Robertson funds for recreational shooting and target practice by providing flexibility in funding to the states to help construct and maintain safe public shooting ranges, and by limiting the liability exposure to federal land agencies regarding the use of their land for target practice or marksmanship training.
"Hunting and recreational shooting are legitimate activities, but the number of places where people can safely practice shooting has been steadily dwindling," Senator Udall said. "This bill is designed to help states create more public shooting ranges to ensure there are safe, appropriate places where hunters and gun enthusiasts can go to practice."
Currently, states are allocated funds for a variety of wildlife purposes under the Pittman-Robertson Act, which established a 10 percent excise tax on firearms, hunting equipment and ammunition, and distributes these funds to states for hunter safety programs and the development and maintenance of shooting ranges, among other things.
The Senators' bill would amend the Pittman-Robertson Act by adjusting the funding limitations so that states have more funds available to create and maintain shooting ranges. In addition, it would:
Limit the liability exposure to the federal land agencies (the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management) regarding the use of federal land for target practice or marksmanship training; and
Encourage those agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain target ranges on federal land so as to encourage their continued use.
"This bill doesn't call for any new funding, and it wouldn't raise any fees or taxes," Senator Udall said. "It would make a common-sense change, giving states the flexibility they need to create and maintain shooting ranges."