Senate Republicans lead bill to ensure federal funding for hunter education courses

U.S. Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE), John Thune (R-SD), and Mike Rounds (R-SD) joined 24 U.S. Senate Republicans to propose a bill clarifying that the prohibition against using federal education funds for certain weapons does not apply to sports clubs, teams, trainings, or related activities provided for elementary and secondary students.

“Basic archery and hunter education programs teach Nebraska students important safety skills. They also provide our youth with a valuable athletic outlet,” Sen. Fischer said. “I’m pleased to co-lead this legislation because President Biden’s Department of Education has no business disrupting Nebraska schools and blocking funding for these critical initiatives.”

The senators on Sept. 7 signed on as original cosponsors of the Allowing for Recreational Resources for Outdoor Wellness (ARROW) Act, S. 2736, which is sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY).

“The safe and responsible use of firearms for sporting purposes and personal protection are valued components of South Dakota’s heritage,” said Thune. “Hunting and archery programs in schools allow students to learn proper firearm and bow safety skills, which is why I’m proud to support this legislation that prevents the Biden administration from its attempt to stifle lawful and common-sense activities related to the Second Amendment.”

Among the other lawmakers who joined Sens. Fischer, Thune and Rounds as original cosponsors are U.S. Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Joni Ernst (R-IA).

According to information provided by the lawmakers, more than 500,000 students each year participate and are certified through hunter education courses, which have decreased hunting accidents by over 50 percent.

“School hunting and archery programs encourage responsible gun ownership and are great educational resources to help guide individuals to use best practices when handling a firearm or bow,” said Rounds. “The Biden administration continues to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. This legislation keeps the heavy-hand of government from interfering with our way of life in South Dakota.”

S. 2736 has been referred to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee for consideration.