|WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, welcomed the introduction of H.R. 1614, the Range Access Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation, re-introduced by U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah), would increase and improve outdoor recreation opportunities across the nation while improving infrastructure and driving economic growth in rural communities.
“NSSF commends Congressman Moore for introducing this vitally important legislation to increase access for the public to practice marksmanship at safe recreational shooting ranges,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “This legislation, that would require the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have at least one qualifying recreational shooting range in each National Forest and BLM district, is crucial to ensuring safe public recreational shooting. Congressman Moore’s bill would also benefit conservation by reducing litter at non-dedicated ranges on federal public lands while also generating additional Pittman-Robertson revenue.”
The immediate benefit of this legislation is providing public access to safe recreational shooting ranges, especially in rural areas. Background checks for firearm sales saw a record of 21 million in 2020 and another 18.5 million in 2021 and 16.4 million in 2022. Those gun owners, many of whom are first-timers, are in need of safe and modern ranges to practice marksmanship skills.
This legislation has the added benefit of supporting wildlife conservation and improving recreational shooting access. Recreational shooting is tied to approximately 85 percent of the Pittman-Robertson excises taxes currently being paid by firearm and ammunition manufacturers, making it a major driving contributor to wildlife conservation. Since the Pittman-Robertson excise tax was enacted in 1937, firearm and ammunition makers have paid $25.38 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars for conservation and construction and improvement of public recreational shooting ranges.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.