Cornyn, Sinema, Tillis Bill to Protect School Hunting & Archery Programs Signed into Law
U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) released the following statements after their Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act, which would clarify that students may continue to have access to educational enrichment programs and activities such as archery and hunting safety education under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, was signed into law:
“The Biden administration’s misinterpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was a shameful and deliberate attempt to prevent students from participating in educational enrichment programs like hunting and archery,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation would ensure these valuable programs remain available in schools across the country, and I’m glad the President chose to correct his own administration’s egregious mistake by signing it into law.”
“Congress did its job – we came together and passed the historic Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to make our communities safer – but the Administration failed to do its job and follow our law as it was written,” said Sen. Sinema. “We shouldn’t have to pass more laws just to tell the Administration to do their job – but here we are – we’re holding the Administration accountable, ensuring accurate interpretation of our law, and allowing students in Arizona and across the country to continue enjoying school-based hunting and archery programs as our law intended.”
“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was a good faith effort to provide historic funding for mental health, harden safety at schools across the country, and reduce violence while protecting the Second Amendment rights of every law-abiding American,” said Sen. Tillis. “The Biden Administration’s partisan interpretation of BSCA to eliminate hunting education in schools was a slap in the face to millions of Americans, particularly in rural areas, and discourages future bipartisan cooperation in Congress when an administration acts in bad faith when implementing laws. I am proud this legislation was signed into law so we can continue to implement BSCA as it was intended.”
Introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Mark Green (TN-07), this legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and John Boozman (R-AR).
The Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to clarify that the prohibition of use of federal education funds for certain weapons does not apply to the use of such weapons in extracurricular programs such as archery, hunting, other shooting sports, or culinary arts.
The legislation builds on a recent letter Sen. Cornyn led with 17 of his Senate colleagues urging U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act as Congress intended and restore federal funding for educational activities like hunting and archery. Sen. Cornyn also led a letter with 16 of his Senate colleagues urging leadership of the Senate Committee on Appropriations to clarify that school districts may continue to use their ESEA funding to provide educational enrichment programs and activities, including hunting, outdoor, archery, and culinary education, in the FY24 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.