Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act of 2012

Hearings began today. No Lawyers has the info here.

It has been a decade since I first walked onto a stage at a huge hunting convention and called for the modification of Pittman-Robinson to allow more money to go to ranges. I was lucky to get out with my life. I said then that taxation without representation, which was clearly the case with the vast majority of excise tax money coming from shooters but going to wildlife conservation, was still tyranny.

I supported CO Senator Mark Udall, who is a Democrat, in his first attempt to modify P-R a few years back, which bought me hate mail from conservative bloggers. Sen. Udall has introduced this bill, which has the full support of NSSF, who has come around to my point of view.

Thank you, Senator, and thank you NSSF.

I believed then and I believe now this is a battle we have to win.


nj_larry said...

Pittman-Robinson should be eliminated, not modified. Please point to the section of the US Constitution that addresses ranges? Please stop figuring out how to spend my money. Its MY money, not yours, not BHO's, not the Feds, not Sen Udall's.

Rick said...

nj_larry: Article 1 Section 8: "To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;"

Part of disciplining, and regulating as stated in the 2nd Amendment, is training. Training involves ranges.

While I agree with your sentiment and philosophy 110%, tax money spent on public ranges does fall under the federal government responsibilities so that we of the militia, as defined in the Militia Act, have a place to go to for training with firearms. If you read Justice Scalia's opinion in DC v Heller, he nicely summarizes how the militia is all able-bodied men able to take up arms, and that well-regulated referred to discipline and training.

DamDoc said...

No Lawyers column: "Manufacturers of firearms and ammunition pay a federal excise tax — 11 percent on long guns and ammunition and 10 percent on handguns — which is used to fund wildlife and conservation efforts."

Better to go to ranges than some other black obamaesk/greenie hole!... However, I surely agree with getting rid of ANY tax (and forego the range money), and agree with Larry if that is his point... but that doesnt appear to be on the table... But getting an 11% discount on guns and ammo sounds pretty good!

Anonymous said...

The P-R Act was designed - or at least sold - as a user fee. Hunters were the most numerous shooters, hunters benefitted greatly from the acquisition and preservation of large areas of game species habitat, so hunters should help pay for that habitat.

That was then; this is now. The number of hunters is plummeting; new shooters are far more likely to be target shooters of some sort. They may never hunt at all, still less in a tract P-R funds paid for.

Further, those tracts are increasingly used by hikers, campers, snowmobilers and 4-wheelers. None of them pay a cent for these areas through a use-specific tax on their accessories.

On these facts, it would seem that P-R's utility has run its course. In its present form, it is an onerous and unwanted burden on what is almost certainly the majority of shooters.

Rather than benefitting shooters, it subsidizes other activities while economically impeding the shooting sports.

Re-allocation of its funds is minimally more fair; elimination of the tax altogether seems fairer still.

nj_larry said...

DamDoc ..."agree with Larry if that is his point."

...geeze Doc I thought I did make myself clear on this one. Let me restate....CAN ALL THE LOBBYIST-INDUSTRY-POLITICIANS- LOAFERS-EVERYONE ELSE, GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WALLET? PLEASE !

I can think of about two dozen good causes that I would like to spend Mike Bane's money or Sen. Uhaul's money on, or the NSSF membership fees, but ya know something, I REALIZE THAT IT WOULD BE IMMORAL TO DO SO. I am sick and tired of 60% or MORE of my money getting spoke for by others. Have we reached the point where it just doesn't matter any more? That after 114 TRILLION dollars in debt we just say "F it" and spend every last dime of the next 10 generations? How can anyone complain about Obamacare but have their hands out for shooting ranges? I don't remember there being a box to check off on the ATF form 4473 that says I can opt out of the PR tax. Or a referendum on the ballot to get my approval or a majority of anybody. It just has to stop. NO MAS. Go build your own damm range.

Sorry folks for the rant, but this just torqued me off...

Anonymous said...

what we need is range protection acts/bills/laws to get passed in every state.

keep suburban sprawl and eminent domain away.

eeyore said...

No Lawyers link is to Sammy Hagars "I can't drive 55."
Next article is

Easy to see how one might mistake the two

Anonymous said...

Ah the joys of living in the Great state of Pennsylvania! Where the state provides public ranges for the common folk to enjoy. [url] [/url]

The ranges used to be free, but the state has now instituted a policy that a shooter must have a current hunting/furtaking license or purchase an annual range use permit for $30 per annum. This is to help pay for recent upgrades to the ranges.

I believe that some of the funds for the range maintenance come from Pittman- Robertson funds allocated to the state by the Fed Gov. So there is a precedent here for the argument for public ranges partially supported by P/R. P/R funds are allocated according to the number of hunting licenses sold by each state IIRC.

BTW remember when Slick Willie, when he occupied the White House, tried to stick his hand in the P/R cookie jar and got it slapped by grannie Congress.

Geoff in PA

Sylvabiota said...

I hear that Sen. Udall's bill does not raise taxes or fees to fund increased grants to states for range development/improvement. Currently the money used for ranges is a 75% match deal ... 75% fed funds, the rest from the state or owner of the range (some states subsidize private ranges for public access rather than build state owned ranges, eg VT, MA). Udall's bill would increase the match to 90% and allow states to accumulate the funds over 5 years rather than have to use them within the year they were granted. About the 75 to 90 change: anyone heard anything about what portion of the P-R Wildlife Restoration funds will be used to accommodate the added 15%, if there will be no tax or fee increase to fund it? The money has to come from somewhere. What wildlife restoration project/program will be cut? Or does Udall's bill allow P-R to draw from the general treasury to do this?

Big Green Targets said...

We should be able to target practice whenever there is a chance to. Good article.