Even as Pew Trusts reports that the gun control movement has gathered considerable momentum this year, the “other side of the story” will play out in August, which has been designated as “National Shooting Sports Month.”
Pew reported that, “This was a year of unparalleled success for the gun-control movement in the United States. States across the country, including 14 with Republican governors, enacted 50 new laws restricting access to guns, ranging from banning bump stocks to allowing authorities to temporarily disarm potentially violent people.”
But will new gun control laws be any more successful than previous laws that have never really lived up to their advertising as “gun violence prevention” measures? The answer can be found in weekly homicide reports from Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
And while the gun prohibition lobby may be feeling its oats, the National Rifle Association reported that its annual meetings and exhibits “has been named among Trade Show News Network’s Top 25 fastest-growing shows in the U.S.” Earlier this year, NRA attracted 87,154 visitors to the annual meetings in Dallas, Texas. There were more than 800 exhibitors, a full roster of workshops and seminars, plenty of entertainment, a visit by both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, and lots of other activities.
Next year’s gathering will be in Indianapolis April 25-28.
The Pew story acknowledged that “State lawmakers still managed to expand gun access with at least 10 new laws in seven states.” Among those advances were allowing guns in K-12 public schools and strengthening “stand your ground” laws, the story noted.
“Under existing Federal law, for example, a portion of Federal excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition is dedicated to American wildlife research and habitat conservation. That is one reason why my Administration has prioritized making it easier for Americans to participate in shooting sports on public lands. By doing so, we are enhancing Americans’ ability to experience the unsurpassed beauty of our blessed Nation and we are better protecting our national treasures for future generations.”—President Donald Trump
The White House released a message from President Trump, in which he stated, “Shooting sports are a terrific reminder of our constitutional liberty and the attendant benefits that accrue to a free people: active friendship within families, between peers, and among communities, and the opportunity for Americans living in small towns and large cities to experience the bounty of America’s great outdoors. “
“Shooting sports help reinforce many of the bedrock values of our people,” the president’s statement continued, “such as the free exercise of the Second Amendment. Mastery of shooting sports requires rigor, discipline, and training. State and local shooting sports programs—and instruction by trained family members and mentors—affirm the role of local communities as the primary teacher of the rule of law and personal responsibility.”
This month, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the Trigger Time Sweepstakes should attract lots of attention and participation. The “LetsGoShooting.org” website will point people to shooting ranges and/or firearms retailers in their vicinity.
“The shooting sports truly offer something for everyone. A day at the range gives people an opportunity to tune out distractions, learn a new skill, socialize and share their experiences.”— Steve Sanetti, NSSF President and CEO
Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced final annual apportionments to state fish and wildlife agencies under the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Act, also known as the Pittman-Robertson Fund, of $797,160,652, which is revenue from a special excise tax on firearms and ammunition that was adopted in the 1930s. This money is used with matching funds to restore and maintain wildlife populations and habitat, and all shooters, not just hunters, contribute with their purchases.
Since the fund was established, billions of dollars have been sent to the states to support wildlife programs. Anti-gunners and anti-hunters can make no such claim.