President Trump signed legislation Friday to created broader access to funding for state-level gun range expansion and improvement.
The legislation is titled Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, but is known more simply as the Range Bill. It deals with Pittman-Robinson funds, which have been compounding from ammo and gun manufacturing excise tax revenues since 1937.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) Larry Keane notes that the Range Bill “give the states more flexibility in how they can use their Pittman Robertson allocation to pay for the construction of new ranges and expansion or improvements to existing ones.”
Keane summed up the overall benefits of the legislation:
If a state wildlife agency decides to build a new recreational shooting range that cost $1 million, the state would only need to apply $100,000 of state funds to access the remaining $900,000 from Pittman-Robertson funds, instead of the $250,000 down payment currently required. It would also give states up to five years to use those funds, which is crucial when navigating the approvals for acquiring lands, permits and approvals for projects.
The NSSF estimates an expansion in gun range funding will result in an expansion of ammo and firearm demand for those ranges, which means more money will end up in the Pittman-Robinson funds as ammo and firearm makers pay the excise tax on their products. The great news is that the Pittman-Robinson funds “are the funds that drive wildlife restoration and conservation programs,” so as they grow so too does conservation.
The Range Bill has been pushed unsuccessfully for over a decade.
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