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House Votes to Allow Better Use of Funds Raised From Ammo Purchases

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The U.S. House passed the National Defense Authorization Act with the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, H.R. 788. This bill would give states more flexibility to use excise tax funds from firearms and ammunition sales for public shooting ranges. That means, more money raised by hunters and shooters may be used for their benefit.

Learning to shoot in the prone position.

Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, H.R. 788

Summary

This bill amends the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to facilitate the construction and expansion of public target ranges by: (1) authorizing a state to pay up to 90% of the costs of acquiring land for, expanding, or constructing a public target range; (2) authorizing a state to elect to allocate 10% of a specified amount apportioned to it from the federal aid to wildlife restoration fund for those costs; (3) limiting the federal share of those costs under such Act to 90%; and (4) requiring amounts provided for those costs under such Act to remain available for expenditure and obligation for five fiscal years.

The United States shall be shielded from any civil action or claim for money damages for injury to or loss of property, personal injury, or death caused by an activity occurring at a public target range that is funded by the federal government pursuant to such Act or located on federal land, except to the extent provided under the Federal Tort Claims Act with respect to the exercise or performance of a discretionary function.

The bill urges the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to cooperate with state and local authorities and other entities to carry out waste removal and other activities on any federal land used as a public target range to encourage its continued use for target practice or marksmanship training.

U.S. Capital Building

The bill urges the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to cooperate with state and local authorities and other entities to carry out waste removal and other activities on any federal land used as a public target range to encourage its continued use for target practice or marksmanship training.

H.R. 788 [Report No. 115–707, Part I]

To amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to facilitate the establishment of additional or expanded public target ranges in certain States.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 1, 2017
Mr. Hunter (for himself, Ms. Cheney, Mr. Wittman, Mr. Young of Alaska, Mr. Walz, Mr. Kinzinger, Mr. Palazzo, Mr. Westerman, Mr. Abraham, Mr. Comer, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Kelly of Pennsylvania, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Latta, Mr. Farenthold, Mr. Johnson of Ohio, Mr. Mast, Mr. Gosar, Mr. LaMalfa, Mr. Welch, Mr. Lamborn, Mr. Cuellar, Mr. Pearce, and Mr. Polis) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

May 29, 2018
Additional sponsors: Mr. Bacon, Mr. Emmer, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Valadao, Mr. Brooks of Alabama, Mr. Franks of Arizona, Mr. Harris, Mr. Jody B. Hice of Georgia, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Gene Green of Texas, Mr. Kind, Mr. Collins of New York, Mr. Thompson of California, Mr. Marino, Mrs. Walorski, Mr. Thompson of Pennsylvania, Mr. Gohmert, Mr. Biggs, Mrs. Black, Mr. Hudson, Mr. Johnson of Louisiana, Mr. Kelly of Mississippi, Mr. Grothman, Mr. Amodei, Mrs. Hartzler, Mr. Rokita, Ms. Tenney, Mr. Mooney of West Virginia, Mr. Ross, Mr. Smith of Texas, Mr. Paulsen, Mr. Williams, Mr. Gaetz, Mr. Budd, Mr. Tipton, Mrs. Love, Mr. Mullin, and Mr. Stivers

May 29, 2018
Reported from the Committee on Natural Resources

May 29, 2018
The Committee on the Judiciary discharged; committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

A BILL
To amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to facilitate the establishment of additional or expanded public target ranges in certain States.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act”.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSE.

(a) Findings.—Congress finds that—

(1) the use of firearms and archery equipment for target practice and marksmanship training activities on Federal land is allowed, except to the extent specific portions of that land have been closed to those activities;

(2) in recent years preceding the date of enactment of this Act, portions of Federal land have been closed to target practice and marksmanship training for many reasons;

(3) the availability of public target ranges on non-Federal land has been declining for a variety of reasons, including continued population growth and development near former ranges;

(4) providing opportunities for target practice and marksmanship training at public target ranges on Federal and non-Federal land can help—

(A) to promote enjoyment of shooting, recreational, and hunting activities; and

(B) to ensure safe and convenient locations for those activities;

(5) Federal law in effect on the date of enactment of this Act, including the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669 et seq.), provides Federal support for construction and expansion of public target ranges by making available to States amounts that may be used for construction, operation, and maintenance of public target ranges; and

(6) it is in the public interest to provide increased Federal support to facilitate the construction or expansion of public target ranges.

(b) Purpose.—The purpose of this Act is to facilitate the construction and expansion of public target ranges, including ranges on Federal land managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF PUBLIC TARGET RANGE.

In this Act, the term “public target range” means a specific location that—

(1) is identified by a governmental agency for recreational shooting;

(2) is open to the public;

(3) may be supervised; and

(4) may accommodate archery or rifle, pistol, or shotgun shooting.

SEC. 4. AMENDMENTS TO PITTMAN-ROBERTSON WILDLIFE RESTORATION ACT.

(a) Definitions.—Section 2 of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669a) is amended—

(1) by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (8) as paragraphs (3) through (9), respectively; and

(2) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:

“(2) the term ‘public target range’ means a specific location that—

“(A) is identified by a governmental agency for recreational shooting;

“(B) is open to the public;

“(C) may be supervised; and

“(D) may accommodate archery or rifle, pistol, or shotgun shooting;”.

(b) Expenditures For Management Of Wildlife Areas And Resources.—Section 8(b) of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669g(b)) is amended—

(1) by striking “(b) Each State” and inserting the following:

“(b) Expenditures For Management Of Wildlife Areas And Resources.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), each State”;

(2) in paragraph (1) (as so designated), by striking “construction, operation,” and inserting “operation”;

(3) in the second sentence, by striking “The non-Federal share” and inserting the following:

“(3) NON-FEDERAL SHARE.—The non-Federal share”;

(4) in the third sentence, by striking “The Secretary” and inserting the following:

“(4) REGULATIONS.—The Secretary”; and

(5) by inserting after paragraph (1) (as designated by paragraph (1) of this subsection) the following:

“(2) EXCEPTION.—Notwithstanding the limitation described in paragraph (1), a State may pay up to 90 percent of the cost of acquiring land for, expanding, or constructing a public target range.”.

(c) Firearm And Bow Hunter Education And Safety Program Grants.—Section 10 of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669h–1) is amended—

(1) in subsection (a), by adding at the end the following:

“(3) ALLOCATION OF ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS.—Of the amount apportioned to a State for any fiscal year under section 4(b), the State may elect to allocate not more than 10 percent, to be combined with the amount apportioned to the State under paragraph (1) for that fiscal year, for acquiring land for, expanding, or constructing a public target range.”;

(2) by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:

“(b) Cost Sharing.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Federal share of the cost of any activity carried out using a grant under this section shall not exceed 75 percent of the total cost of the activity.

“(2) PUBLIC TARGET RANGE CONSTRUCTION OR EXPANSION.—The Federal share of the cost of acquiring land for, expanding, or constructing a public target range in a State on Federal or non-Federal land pursuant to this section or section 8(b) shall not exceed 90 percent of the cost of the activity.”; and

(3) in subsection (c)(1)—

(A) by striking “Amounts made” and inserting the following:

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), amounts made”; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

“(B) EXCEPTION.—Amounts provided for acquiring land for, constructing, or expanding a public target range shall remain available for expenditure and obligation during the 5-fiscal-year period beginning on October 1 of the first fiscal year for which the amounts are made available.”.

SEC. 5. LIMITS ON LIABILITY.

(a) Discretionary Function.—For purposes of chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code (commonly referred to as the “Federal Tort Claims Act”), any action by an agent or employee of the United States to manage or allow the use of Federal land for purposes of target practice or marksmanship training by a member of the public shall be considered to be the exercise or performance of a discretionary function.

(b) Civil Action Or Claims.—Except to the extent provided in chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code, the United States shall not be subject to any civil action or claim for money damages for any injury to or loss of property, personal injury, or death caused by an activity occurring at a public target range that is—

(1) funded in whole or in part by the Federal Government pursuant to the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669 et seq.); or

(2) located on Federal land.

SEC. 6. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING COOPERATION.

It is the sense of Congress that, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, the Chief of the Forest Service and the Director of the Bureau of Land Management should cooperate with State and local authorities and other entities to carry out waste removal and other activities on any Federal land used as a public target range to encourage continued use of that land for target practice or marksmanship training.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog, “The Shooter’s Log,” is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!



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