Hunting and Shooting Sports Alert: Take Action to Oppose Shooting Access Closure in Arizona by Mar. 22

Hunting and Shooting Sports Alert: Take Action to Oppose Shooting Access Closure in Arizona by Mar. 22

Late last month, President Biden’s Department of the Interior published a Notice of Comment Period where they announced that it would be adopting a new Resource Management Plan for the Sonoran Desert National Monument. This new plan would cut off public shooting access on 99 percent of the Sonoran Desert National Monument.  

The new plan flies in the face of a previous decision in 2018 where the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), after performing studies and analysis, and with the input of those who use the land, left open 90 percent of the Sonoran Desert National Monument to target shooting. 

As tracked by the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum website, the BLM came to this drastic decision after settling a case in 2022 with several extremist environmental groups attempting to trample sportsmen’s access to public lands. The drastic decision is yet another failure of President Biden’s Department of the Interior to respect the rights of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights in a safe, and instead to cede its authority to extremist organizations that remain openly hostile to the Second Amendment. 

“The Biden administration’s plan to close access to hundreds of thousands of acres of public land currently open to recreational shooting is a direct attack on the exercise of our Second Amendment freedoms and a shameful capitulation to the demands of extremist environmental groups,” said Randy Kozuch, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, the group's lobbying arm, in an emailed statement.

In working to protect the rights of American hunters and shooters, the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) advises that those who oppose this drastic decision can submit comments to the BLM to urge it to reverse course and uphold longstanding recreational shooting access in the Sonoran Desert National Monument. Comments must be submitted to the BLM no later than March 22, 2024, via email at [email protected] or by mailing them to this address: BLM, Sonoran Desert National Monument, Attn.: RMPA EA, 2020 E Bell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85022. 

It is important to keep the following in mind when submitting comments. 

Comments must be professional and respectful. Any closure to recreational shooting access is extremely frustrating, but making comments that are viewed as unprofessional will make it easy for BLM to reject them. 

Comments should focus on requesting that the BLM support a proposal that reflects the 2018 Resource Management Plan Amendment that identified approximately 435,700 acres of public land as being available for recreational target shooting.  

Comments should be individualized and focus on how this Resource Management Plan would impact the commenter. BLM will treat all identical comments as a single comment, so it is important to avoid using a form comment. 

The NRA is also joining multiple shooting sports and hunting organizations to file a protest in opposition to the proposed Resource Management Plan. Both the NRA-ILA and NRA HLF website will keep you apprised of any developments.