The U.S. Senate introduced a bill aimed at boosting hunting and recreational shooting numbers.
The Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act will provide flexibility to state agencies to use Pittman-Robertson funds for the recruitment, retention and reactivation of hunters and recreational shooters. The legislation would not increase any taxes or existing user fees, but would allow state fish and wildlife agencies to use existing revenues in new and innovative ways. It is identical to the House bill (H.R. 877) that was introduced earlier in 2019.
Hunters and recreational shooters contribute nearly $800 million annually through the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF) from sporting-related excise taxes and license purchases under the Pittman-Robertson Fund to state agencies for various conservation efforts. As hunting license purchases have slowly declined over the past four decades, it is becoming increasingly important to provide flexibility to states to use Pittman-Robertson funds to develop and implement strategies to retain and reactivate existing and lapsed hunters and recreational shooters as well as to recruit the nation’s next generation of sportsmen and women.
“Hunting and shooting sports are woven into the fabric of Idaho’s history with generations of sportsmen and women passing down hunting traditions from father to son, mother to daughter. This is a legacy we must uphold and protect,” said Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho). “This legislation will make important updates to the Pittman-Robertson Fund to ensure future generations can carry on this treasured pastime of hunting and recreational shooting while conserving wildlife for outdoorsmen and women to enjoy and experience.”
The bill awaits further action in the Senate.
(Photo source: Idaho Department of Game and Fish)