NEWTOWN, Conn. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearm, ammunition, hunting and recreational shooting sports industry, recognized U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) as the 2019 National Shooting Sports Foundation Legislator of the Year for her unwavering commitment to protect one of our nation’s most cherished traditions and for fighting to uphold our constitutional rights.
Senator Capito sponsored the bipartisan Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, S. 94, which provides states with greater flexibility to use Pittman-Robertson funds derived from excise taxes paid by firearm and ammunition manufacturers for the development and maintenance of public shooting ranges. The “Range Bill” paved the way for increased safe recreational target shooting opportunities after it was enacted. Senator Capito also championed efforts to ensure that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is adequately funded to provide quality customer service to firearm retailers.
“We are honored to present Senator Capito with the 2019 NSSF Legislator of the Year Award for her perseverance and steadfast leadership in the U.S. Senate, particularly for playing a key role in the passage and enactment of the ‘Range Bill,’ as well as her tireless efforts to help ensure FBI NICS is equipped to provide customer service to federally licensed firearms retailers,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Senator Capito has been an invaluable partner to the firearm and ammunition industry within the Halls of Congress. NSSF appreciates her commitment to invest in responsible firearm ownership and wildlife conservation, and we applaud her continued efforts in support of hunting, the shooting sports, and the Second Amendment, which stand to benefit not only West Virginians but Americans all across this nation.”
“West Virginia has a proud Second Amendment history. Our heritage is steeped in the beauty of our outdoors and the shooting sports we all love,” said Senator Capito. “I’m honored to receive this award from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and I’m proud to have led our successful effort to enact the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act into law. That legislation will enhance opportunities for Americans to participate in shooting sports. I will continue working alongside you to promote outdoor recreations, hunting, gun safety, and gun rights across our nation.”
The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, or “Range Bill,” was a top NSSF priority. It was introduced as 29 different bills, since the 110th Congress. Over a decade, the legislation was included in 15 separate bill packages, that for reasons unrelated to the “Range Bill” failed to reach Congressional consensus. Previously, states provided 25 percent of construction costs to access the matching 75 percent. The “Range Bill” lowered the local match to 10 percent with 90 percent provided from Pittman-Robertson funds. The law also increases the amount of time states have to use their allocation to five fiscal years, providing additional flexibility to acquire land for range construction or expansion projects.
Since 1937, the fund has generated more than $12.5 billion for wildlife conservation and safety education programs in all 50 states. NSSF estimates more than 80 percent of Pittman-Robertson excise tax contributions are generated by sales attributed to recreational shooting.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.