Cornyn, Sinema, Tillis Bill to Protect School Hunting & Archery Programs Heads to President’s Desk
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, passed the Senate unanimously:
“The Biden administration’s shameful and deliberate misinterpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has jeopardized students’ access to 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 urge the President to immediately sign it into law and right this egregious wrong.”
“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 schools across the country, and strengthen existing gun safety laws while protecting the constitutional rights of every American,” said Sen. Tillis. “The Biden Administration’s partisan interpretation of BSCA to eliminate hunting education in schools is a slap in the face to millions of Americans, particularly in rural areas, and discourages bipartisan cooperation in Congress. I want to thank my colleagues in Congress for quickly passing this legislation and sending it to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”
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.