The second annual National Shooting Sports Month kicked off this week to a warm welcome from the White House and within President Trump’s cabinet. The event, advocated by the trade group of the firearms industry, was heralded by a statement from the President who encouraged Americans to get out and enjoy responsible shooting sports across the country.
“Shooting sports are a terrific reminder of our constitutional liberty and the attendant benefits that accrue to a free people: active friendship within families, between peers, and among communities, and the opportunity for Americans living in small towns and large cities to experience the bounty of America’s great outdoors,” said Trump.
Originally an initiative of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the month-long event is dedicated to the 50 million people who participate in hunting and sports shooting which, through Pittman-Robertson excise taxes, fuels conservation and safety efforts nationwide. The 31-day celebration encourages visits to shooting ranges, preferably with a friend, spouse or partner, in conjunction with special offers from sporting goods retailers.
From the Oval Office, Trump stressed the Pittman-Robertson tie-in, saying that his administration has “prioritized making it easier for Americans to participate in shooting sports on public lands. By doing so, we are enhancing Americans’ ability to experience the unsurpassed beauty of our blessed Nation and we are better protecting our national treasures for future generations.”
The event was officially adopted nationwide by U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a proclamation last August. An early appointment by President Trump, the former Navy SEAL and Montana lawmaker oversees the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service, covering about 20 percent of the land in the country.
Zinke, visiting a public range in Wisconsin this week to kick off the event with the National Shooting Sports Foundation and a group of veterans, encouraged the public to “let’s go shooting.”