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.
by Chris Eger