President Trump Signs Bill Making It Easier to Build, Maintain Public Ranges

05/20/19 5:30 AM | by

President Trump Signs Bill Making It Easier to Build, Maintain Public Ranges

Shooting range table

The new law makes it easier for states to use already-existing federal funds to create public gun ranges (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

President Donald Trump recently signed a measure backed by pro-gun groups to increase the number of shooting ranges available on public land. The bipartisan proposal, H.R.1222, was introduced in February and passed in a voice vote in April while the Senate likewise approved a similar bill earlier this year.

Currently, states looking to begin work on public shooting ranges must match federal government grant funds to the tune of 25 cents on the dollar. The range bill signed by Trump this month drops the matching formula to 90/10 while also allowing funds to accrue for up to five years – up from two.

Now law, the move tweaks the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act. This 80-year-old law uses an 11 percent excise tax levied on all guns and ammo commercially sold or imported into the country to perform conservation-related tasks such as restoring habitat, funding hunter safety programs and establishing public ranges. Paid for by firearms industry manufacturers, conservation officials announced over $670 million in Pittman-Robertson funds would be available to states this year alone.

The change, which has been proposed in one form or another no less than 29 different times over the past 14 years, was a top priority for the gun industry’s trade group.

“We deeply appreciate President Trump’s swift enactment of this legislation that will give state fish and game agencies greater flexibility to build new recreational shooting ranges and expand and improve existing ranges,” said Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The latest National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, compiled by the federal government every five years since 1955, counted a population of least 11.4 million hunters in the country. These sportsmen, in turn, pumped $25.6 billion into the economy in 2016.

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane said the new range law is important as, “Now more than ever, America’s sportsmen and women need places to hone their skills and learn the fundamentals of hunting and the shooting sports.”

Latest Reviews

  • M9

    The Beretta M9 Strong Even in Retirement

    The Beretta M9 withstood the test of time for our troops and LEOs, but with current trends shifting away from...

    Read Now
  • Rock Island Armory 1911

    Found on Guns.com: Rock Island Armory M1911

    While true believers tend to go after the standard .45 ACP models, Rock Island breaks the mold and offers a...

    Read Now
  • cloners

    Popular Rifle Builds for Cloners

    Cloners build rifles that closely resemble actual service weapons by carefully selecting components for an exact match for the most...

    Read Now
  • Kriss Sphinx

    Gun Review: Kriss Sphinx

    Compared to other production handguns, the Kriss Sphinx -- a CZ look-alike -- has pound for pound some of the...

    Read Now