FIREARMS CONTRIBUTION TO WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
As we celebrate this Earth Day, let’s remember the important contribution American hunters and outdoorsmen provide to the conservation, research, restoration, and improvement of wildlife habitats across this great nation’s land.
Thanks to the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, firearm manufacturers, producers, and importers of the firearms and ammunition pay an 11% excise tax on the products we buy. The money is distributed to the states for the express purpose of research, conservation and education including the expansion of habitats by acquisition or lease. Better still, these funds are directed according to need by the land area of the state and the number of hunting license holders in proportion to other states so that the states with the most land and hunters get the most funds.
Since inception, this legislation has provided over 14 billion dollars of federal aid which has allowed wildlife animals to expand their ranges while some species such as deer and turkeys have been given a chance to recover. A 70’s Amendment to the act added a 10% tax on handguns, ammunition, and accessories as well as an 11% tax on archery equipment which mandates half of that income goes to create and maintain hunter safety classes and shooting ranges.
Another means by which ethical hunters support wildlife conservation is through hunting seasons which prevent overpopulation, allow populations to recover after the season is ended, and ensure a healthy ecosystem for all local wildlife.
By these processes and regulations it is hoped that improved habitats will be better protected, provide better hunting experiences and create a new generation of hunters which will in turn provide continued funding for the future protection of habits for generations to come.
On this Earth Day, American hunters and sportsmen should be proud of their contributions to wildlife conservation. As Theodore Roosevelt, the founder of the National Wildlife Refuge System said: “In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen,” “The excellent people who protest against all hunting, and consider sportsmen as enemies of wildlife, are ignorant of the fact that in reality the genuine sportsman is by all odds the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination.” So from all of us at Gunbuyer to all of you who make this possible, thank you! Happy Earth Day!
For more information on wildlife conservation please refer to these resources: