NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the firearm industry trade association, praised the introduction of the bipartisan Outdoor Recreation Act. This legislation, introduced by U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), would increase and improve outdoor recreation opportunities across the nation while improving infrastructure and driving economic growth in rural communities.
“The National Shooting Sports Foundation commends Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Sen. Joe Manchin and Ranking Member Sen. John Barrasso for introducing this vitally important outdoor recreation package,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “In particular, NSSF appreciates the bipartisan measures included in this legislation that would require the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to ensure that both agencies have at least one qualifying recreational shooting range in each National Forest and BLM district. Recreational shooting is tied to approximately 85 percent of the Pittman-Robertson excise taxes currently being paid by firearm and ammunition manufacturers, making it a major driving contributor to wildlife conservation. This legislation would ensure that recreational marksmanship can be practiced in accessible and safe environments while also benefiting conservation.”
Senator Manchin explained in a press release that the Outdoor Recreation Act would support outdoor recreation economies and provide an economic boost to local communities while preserving public lands for future generations. Sen. Barrasso added that the bill not only establishes public access to shooting ranges on USFS and BLM lands, but also ensures access to public lands and modernizes campgrounds.
Specifically, the legislation would direct the Forest Service to issue guidance for recreational climbing in designated Wilderness Areas and require the Forest Service and BLM to designate many new shooting ranges on National Forests and BLM land.