Senate Unanimously Passes Protecting Hunting Heritage & Education Act, Sends to President

After a unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate and near-unanimous vote by the U.S. House of Representatives, the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act, introduced by Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., is headed to President Biden’s desk for his signature. The act prevents the Department of Education from blocking federal funding to public schools for hunting, shooting, archery and other outdoor programs.

“We’re happy to see congress come together and wholly reject the Biden administration’s misinterpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” said Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “It’s something that never should have happened, which is why we took the step of filing a lawsuit to protect our outdoor heritage should congress have failed to act.”

Mainstream media is reporting that President Biden will sign the bill and has backtracked on his own administration’s repeated interpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA).

When Congress passed the BSCA last year, the gun-control bill contained increased funding for security and mental health resources in schools. However, the bill also included language that prohibited those federal funds from being used to purchase or to provide training for any person in the use of “dangerous weapons.” The intent of Congress was to ensure that these funds were not used for resource officer training, which comes from a different funding source.

The Department of Education determined that students receiving training or participating in any activity with any item that could be construed as a dangerous weapon would be barred from receiving federal funding. This put hunter education, archery courses, shooting sports teams and even the Sportsmen’s Alliance-created high school curriculum, Conservation Science, at risk. Indeed, with the start of the academic year, many schools had already cancelled programs out of fear of running afoul of convoluted funding laws.

In response, the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, Safari Club International and Western Michigan Bowhunters took legal action to address their concerns that the Department of Education deliberately misconstrued Congress’ intent and violating the spirit and letter of the law. Co-sponsors of the BSCA have consistently asserted that the law was never intended to restrict funding for these essential programs – and interpretation and action supported by the entirety of congress.

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.