The Pittman–Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, created by Nevada Senator Key Pittman and Virginia Congressman Absalom Willis Robertson, was signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt on September 2, 1937.
Hunters play a vital role in funding wildlife management and conservation. Hunting is conservation and there is no greater proof of that than hunters who successfully lobbied government so many years ago to tax themselves for the benefit of wildlife.
Prior to the Pittman–Robertson Act, many species of wildlife were at or near extinction levels. The Act took over a pre-existing 11% excise tax on firearms and ammunition, however, instead of going into the US Treasury, the money is kept separate and dispersed via the Secretary of the Interior to the States based on a formula taking into account both the area of the state and its number of licensed hunters. Notable species that have been brought back from the brink of extinction since the implementation of this act include white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and wood ducks.
Philosopher George Santayana famously stated that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Hunters learned and they acted. The Act raises more than $280 million a year for wildlife conservation and has raised more than $2 billion since its inception. Revenue from state licenses and fees adds up to about $275 million a year, which goes exclusively to state fish and game departments for conservation purposes.
S. 1249: Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act is a bill to amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to facilitate the establishment of additional or expanded public target ranges in certain States. Because the expansion of America’s urban and suburban areas has crowded out many shooting areas and made it increasingly difficult to find a place to shoot, Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) introduced this a bill to allow the construction and maintenance of target ranges on public lands with Pittman-Robertson funds. In the House of Representatives, Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) introduced a companion bill, H. R. 3065. The bill has been introduced and has been assigned a congressional committee.
Additional Article Online
Dale Pereira & Pete Marut of Connecticut Spring and Stamping (ctspring.com), a Farmington, CT company with more than 160 firearms industry customers submitted an article we didn’t have room to print. Entitiled Making Quality Firearms Parts Requires Expertise in Design, Prototyping and Manufacturing, it is an overview of the making of firearm springs and stamped parts, development and prototyping involved in making parts and manufacturing processes as they apply to part quality and consistency. The company makes every manner of firearm spring, as well as slide-stop assemblies, interceptor latches, magazine tube assemblies, saddle rings, speed latches, action bars, sights and trigger bars for many different hand guns and rifles, including the AR15/M16 rifle platform.
Read more in our January 2013 issue. Back issues are available.