ICYMI: Kicking off National Shooting Sports Month

National Shooting Sports Month, the annual month-long event dedicated to America’s gun-owning public and the sport they love, is now underway.

Originally an initiative of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the month-long event is dedicated to the 50 million people who participate in hunting and sports shooting which, through Pittman-Robertson excise taxes, fuels conservation and safety efforts nationwide. The 31-day celebration encourages visits to shooting ranges, preferably with a friend, spouse or partner, in conjunction with special offers from sporting goods retailers.

From the Oval Office on Wednesday, President Trump encouraged Americans to get out and enjoy responsible shooting sports across the country.

“During National Shooting Sports Month, we celebrate the cherished tradition of recreational and sport shooting activities,” said Trump. “Shooting sports bring people together and instill comradery among a significant portion of its fellow enthusiasts. The vibrant shooting sport culture is made possible, in large part, by our steadfast protection of one of our bedrock and most-cherished liberties, the right to keep and bear arms.”

Trump pointed out that in the past year he signed legislation, H.R. 1222, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, to make it easier to establish and maintain public shooting ranges while at the same time his administration has moved to open an additional 1.4 million acres in national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries to new or expanded hunting, fishing, and recreational opportunities, to include public ranges.

National Shooting Sports Month was officially adopted nationwide in 2017 through a proclamation by U.S. Interior Secretary. That cabinet-level department oversees the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service, covering about 20 percent of the land in the country. The current Interior boss, David Bernhardt, encouraged Americans to get to the range this month and enjoy the sport.

“Increasing recreational access to our public lands is critical to conserving America’s outdoor heritage,” tweeted Bernhardt. “During #NationalShootingSportsMonth I encourage all to reconnect with the outdoors & enjoy the tradition of recreational & sport shooting activities.”

As part of the event, the NSSF encourages those interested in the sport to head to the Let’s Go Shooting website to locate local ranges and retailers near them to participate in local events and invite others to join in the fun. It’s a great way to get newcomers involved and share in a growing love for the rewarding sport of target shooting.

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