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U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)

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Elected representatives matter. Like all elections, the 2018 midterms could be pivotal for the future of the Second Amendment as we know it. We all want our Senators and Congressmen to vote in our favor, but all too often it seems our elected representatives bow to political pressure or flip-flop on an issue in favor of feel-good politics. To help you make an informed decision, here are two members of congress that recently sat down for Q&A sessions guns and the shooting sports.

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)

U.S. Representative Rob Bishop hunting pheasants

Who introduced you to hunting/the shooting sports and at what age?

My brother took me pheasant hunting for the first time in Utah when I was 8 years old.

What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting activity? With whom?

Last fall, a handful of friends and I shot clays at a range in Maryland.

Describe your favorite shooting sport/hunting activity? Where?

One of the first bird refuges created in the United States was in my hometown of Brigham City, Utah. In those days, there were hunting refuges where notables, such as Branch Rickey & Clark Gable, would come and pass the time. One of my favorite photos shows Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig posing just after a duck hunt.

Hunting and sport shooting are ennobling pastimes, and these activities must be protected, not curtailed.

Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearms industry is particularly important to you and why?

The “Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act,” also known as the SHARE Act, is a package of legislation designed specifically to protect and promote the interests of sportsmen. Within the SHARE Act, there is a provision which removes ambiguity from ATF rules and would safeguard against political attacks on many popular types of sporting ammunition.

Additionally, Rep. Duncan Hunter has introduced an important bill called the “Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act,” which will make it easier for Americans to utilize their public lands for recreational shooting and safety training.

What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts in this congressional session?

Access is a challenge. Too often, the federal government curtails access to public lands. Especially in the west, we should be opening areas and creating opportunities for hunting and fishing. It’s the government that tries to limit these kinds of experiences, and it is long past time for that to change. As a congressman, it is my responsibility to create more freedom for sportsmen and safeguard those liberties from those would attack them for political gain.

Thanks to the good efforts of groups like National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), I think people up here on Capitol Hill are becoming more and more aware of the challenges our constituents face when it comes to finding places to get out and shoot.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)

U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar enjoys hunting doves in South Texas with a 12 gauge pump shotgun.

U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar enjoys hunting doves in South Texas with a 12 gauge pump shotgun.

Who introduced you to hunting/the shooting sports and at what age?

My father introduced me to hunting when I was about 11 or 12.

What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting activity? With whom?

I went dove hunting about a year ago with family and friends.

Describe your favorite shooting sport/hunting activity?  Which hunt? Which gun? Where? What species?

I enjoy hunting doves in South Texas. I use a 12 gauge pump shotgun.

Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearms industry is particularly important to you and why?

I feel that one of the most important issues for our small manufacturers, distributors, exporters, parts suppliers, and individual hunters and sportsmen is completion of the Export Control Reform Initiative.

As you know, the Obama administration in 2009 began transferring export control from the State Department to the Commerce Department. This transfer helps reduce unnecessary regulations and fees on our nation’s exports. Currently the government is still looking at transferring non-military sporting and commercial firearms and related products, the only items left to transfer.

I helped introduce the Export Control Reform Act of 2016 last year, which would have completed this transfer, however, the Congress failed to pass the bill. While we have not yet introduced it again this year, I have signed a letter to the new Administration requesting that they take swift action on this issue to support our nation’s sportsmen.

What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts in this congressional session?

I think the biggest challenge is time. The Congress and the new Administration have expressed an ambitious agenda of priority items they would like to see passed this year. Given that, it will be hard to find time on the schedule for other important items. However, if we can find issues like the Export Control Reform Initiative, which have bi-partisan support, we can work together get good things accomplished for our nation’s sportsmen.

Are your elected representatives for or against the shooting sports? Share your answers in the comment section.

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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