Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Pittman-Robertson Act: Friend Of The Hunter & Hunted

Tuesday, August 28, 2001

It may be hard to believe today, but in the 1930s the sighting of even one whitetail deer was a notable event. Encroachment of humans on habitat and over-hunting without regulation had caused populations of many game species to plummet rapidly. Today, however, the nationwide deer population is nearly 20 million strong.

Contrary to the belief of recently spawned animal extremist groups, hunters and sportsmen have been and continue to be the primary players in the effort to protect the game which they hunt. Conservation tactics such as carefully regulated hunting, habitat acquisition and species transplants contributed to bring populations back to healthy levels.

While the tool for hunting is usually the gun or bow, the vehicle which actually transforms money into habitat, ecological study into proven conservation tactics, and the idea of harmony between nature and society into reality is the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act. Who fuels this vehicle? Sportsmen.

Sponsored by Senator Key Pittman of Nevada and Congressman A. Willis Robertson of Virginia and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Sept. 2, 1937, the Pittman-Robertson Act created a 10% excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition. A few years later the tax became 11%.

The tens of millions of dollars generated by Pittman-Robertson each year were mandated to go back into state and local organizations to increase game populations, expand habitat and train hunters. As the money kept piling up, a repeal bill was drawn to relieve sportsmen from the financial burden of the excise tax. However, because dramatic results could be seen nationwide, sportsmen insisted on keeping the tax in place.

The generated revenues from Pittman-Robertson were placed in a special trust under the control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and were to be allotted to state wildlife conservation programs for wildlife restoration and to ensure the future of hunting sports. The trust was to be kept separate from the general fund, meaning the monies were not to be part of the accounted annual budget. Translated, this cuts red tape and produces positive results for wildlife when overseen by honest officials.

For years the Pittman-Robertson Act functioned soundly--generating $150 million in funds each year--and, more importantly, produced results. Numerous species including migratory birds (ducks and geese), elk, deer, antelope, wild turkey and many other species were rescued from the endangered list and are now not only surviving, but thriving. Pittman-Robertson was a rare legislative model for efficiency and a godsend for hunters and animals alike.

However, in recent years, notably during the Clinton Administration, evidence surfaced that the sportsman`s conservation trust funds were being mismanaged.

NRA board member and sportsman, U.S. Representative Don Young (R-Alaska), felt it was time to act.

Representative Young held hearings to question the authorities in charge in an effort to correct the system. Thereafter, he introduced the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs Improvement Act of 2000 which precisely re-defines what USFWS can spend the excise taxes on and in what manner the monies can be spent. The NRA backed bill passed the House 423-2 and became law on Nov. 1, 2000.

Today, Pittman-Robertson is back on track, supplying wildlife with vast amounts of habitat, resources and practical ecological study, while supplying hunters with game to hunt and eat, thus ensuring necessary funds never run dry. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that through these special taxes and license fees, America`s sportsmen contribute $3.5 million each day to wildlife conservation.

Perhaps President Ronald Reagan stated it best at the Pittman-Robertson 50th Anniversary when he said: "Those who pay the freight are those who purchase firearms, ammunition, and, in recent years, archery equipment."

IN THIS ARTICLE
Hunting/Conservation
TRENDING NOW
Rep. Rob Bishop Introduces the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act"

News  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rep. Rob Bishop Introduces the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act"

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced H.R. 2620, the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act." This bill would remove ATF's authority to use the ...

Concealed Carrying Hits New High, Underscores Need for National Law

News  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Concealed Carrying Hits New High, Underscores Need for National Law

Information collected by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) indicates an unprecedented surge in the number of concealed carry permits, with the largest one-year increase on record occurring between May 2016 and May 2017.

Legislation Reintroduced to Permanently Dismantle Obama-Era Enforcement Abuse

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Legislation Reintroduced to Permanently Dismantle Obama-Era Enforcement Abuse

This week, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) reintroduced the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, a bill aimed at permanently dismantling Operation Choke Point (OCP).  

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

The House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 1657 by a 7-6 vote.

New Zealand Police Mislead Current and Prospective Gun Owners

News  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

New Zealand Police Mislead Current and Prospective Gun Owners

Back in April, NRA-ILA alerted readers to the results of the New Zealand Parliament Law and Order Committee’s “Inquiry into issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms in New Zealand,” which proposed that a ...

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Today, May 22, Governor Brian Sandoval signed important pro-gun legislation, Assembly Bill 118, into law.  AB 118, sponsored by Assemblyman Skip Daly, will allow members of the military and those who have received an honorable ...

Public Health Researchers Use Common Gun Control Tactic to Mislead on “Children” and Guns

News  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Public Health Researchers Use Common Gun Control Tactic to Mislead on “Children” and Guns

It is one of the most well-worn tactics of those who advocate for gun control. Step one, acquire statistics on firearms injuries among children ages 0-14. Step two, combine these relatively low numbers with the ...

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

The Supreme Court of North Dakota confirmed this week that simply possessing a handgun while on one’s own private property cannot support a finding of "disorderly conduct" under the state’s disorderly conduct restraining order law. ...

Abbott Signs Senate Bill 16, Bringing Texas License To Carry Fees Down to Among Lowest in Nation

News  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Abbott Signs Senate Bill 16, Bringing Texas License To Carry Fees Down to Among Lowest in Nation

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today applauded Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for signing into law NRA-backed legislation that will make license to carry fees in Texas among the lowest in the ...

South Carolina: Governor McMaster Signs Pro-Gun Bill

Monday, May 22, 2017

South Carolina: Governor McMaster Signs Pro-Gun Bill

Last Friday, May 19, Governor Henry McMaster (R) signed H. 3429 into law.  This bill went into effect upon the Governor’s approval.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.