America’s sportsmen, non-hunters and Congress rebuked the Department of Education’s anti-hunting interpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) that removed funding for outdoor, archery, sport shooting and hunter education programs in public schools throughout the country by sending the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act to President Biden with a clear message to sign it into law.
“Thousands of Sportsmen’s Alliance and Safari Club International members nationwide demanded that Congress fix this egregious, agenda-driven interpretation of last year’s gun-control bill,” said Sportsmen’s Alliance Vice President of Government Affairs, Todd Adkins. “Congress listened by passing the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act in a nearly unanimous vote that President Biden has signed into law.”
Since President Biden signed the legislation, the Department of Education has issued new guidance to ensure that the defunding notice issued earlier by the agency is no longer relied upon by local schools and school systems. With the clarification, the lawsuit brought by the Sportsmen’s Alliance and Safari Club International was dismissed by the organizations.
“Even though the bill was signed two weeks ago, the Sportsmen’s Alliance and SCI waited until we received official confirmation that it sufficed to remedy the misinterpretation and that the Department of Education would abide by the spirit and letter of the law and correct their interpretation of the BSCA,” said Adkins.
When Congress passed the BSCA last year, the gun-control bill contained increased funding for security and mental health resources in schools. However, the bill also included language that prohibited those federal funds from being used to purchase or to provide training for any person in the use of “dangerous weapons.” The intent of Congress was to ensure that these funds were not used for resource officer training, which comes from a different funding source.
The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, SCI and Western Michigan Bowhunters took legal action to ensure the interest of sportsmen were represented should Congress fail to address our concerns. The lawsuit remains active until the Department of Justice and Department of Education verify that funding will be restored for these important education activities.
The coalition also worked with members of Congress to amend the law and right the egregious wrong. The Sportsmen’s Alliance has also created a petition to send a clear message to Congress that American citizens want this education funding restored.
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.