WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) today reintroduced the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act in the 115th Congress.
Opportunities for Americans to safely engage in recreational and competitive shooting have declined on both public and private lands in recent years. This legislation encourages states to develop additional shooting ranges by making more funds available to state fish and wildlife agencies through the Pittman-Robertson Act, a federal aid program that is financed by excise taxes on firearms.
“As a West Virginian, I know how important shooting sports are to our economy, and to our proud hunting heritage,” said Senator Capito. “I am glad to join with my colleagues to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation that responsibly encourages improved federal, state and local cooperation to create and maintain shooting ranges, and encourage their continued use.”
"Hunting and target shooting are an important part of Colorado's Western heritage and outdoor economy,” Senator Bennet said. "This bill will provide states greater flexibility to develop shooting ranges, and provide sportsmen with more opportunities for target practice and marksmanship training."
"Shooting sports are a huge economic driver in Arkansas and I am pleased to support a common-sense solution that makes it easier for states to encourage these traditions. Our bill will improve access to ranges for the thousands of Arkansans who enjoy this type of recreation without increasing federal spending,” Senator Boozman said.
“There are countless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in North Dakota, but a growing population has put extra pressure on our public shooting ranges. That’s why I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan bill to expand outdoor recreation for our sportsmen and women,” said Senator Heitkamp. “Working together at the federal, state, and local levels, we can guarantee that facilities where folks enjoy marksmanship and target practice thrive for generations to come—and this bill would help accomplish that goal.”
Currently, under the Pittman-Robertson Act, funds can only be used to pay 75 percent of the cost of building or operating a public target range and states only have two years to access allotted funds. The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act allows 90 percent of those funds to be used for public target ranges and allows states to retain funding for five years instead of two. States can use these funds to pay for acquiring land, expanding existing facilities and constructing new public facilities.
The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act is endorsed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the National Rifle Association.