by NRA-HLF Staff - Friday, July 15, 2016
Despite what gun control supporters want you to think, law-abiding, freedom-loving Americans are continuing to buy guns for everything from hunting to shooting sports and personal protection. For proof, consider the most recent report on background checks for firearm acquisitions, firearm purchase permits and carry permits, which cites that background checks have climbed steadily for several years. But while increasing gun sales benefit the firearm industry—they pay huge dividends for...wildlife.
Not the answer you expected? It's all thanks to the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937. The 79-year-old legislation imposes an 11 percent federal excise tax on the sale of shotguns, rifles, ammo and bows and arrows and a 10 percent tax on the sale of handguns. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) distributes funds back to the states the following year based on the number of paid hunting licenses relative to paid hunting licenses in the whole country. Funds are used to restore and manage wildlife habitat and to open and maintain access for hunting, shooting and other outdoor recreational pursuits. Translation: Hunters foot the bill for wildlife conservation and public land management and restoration for everyone to enjoy.
As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), Georgia alone received about $7 million Pittman-Robertson money the year Barack Obama became president. Last year it received $19 million. So much for gun ownership declining. As explained by NRA-ILA, gun control zealots want politicians to believe this is the case. Why? Because politicians will be more inclined to vote for anti-gun measures if they think those who oppose them are in the minority.
In setting the record straight, gun sales are rising, and wildlife is benefiting. Of course, the AJC article spotlights what hunters already know: We conserve wildlife and we ensure everyone can continue to enjoy our natural resources—non-hunters included.
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