FIRST ON FOX: Two Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation to allow schools to fund firearm safety, hunting and archery programs.
GOP lawmakers Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky introduced the Educating Responsible Future Hunters Act to amend federal law to programs that teach proper safety and training with a “dangerous weapon.”
Currently, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 prohibits funds under the law’s jurisdiction “for the provision to any person of a dangerous weapon … or training in the use of a dangerous weapon.”
Ogles told Fox News Digital that the “federal government has no business imposing federal restrictions on local schools that choose to offer programs to educate students on firearm safety and the skills required for hunting and archery.”
“I’m pleased to be able to join Dr. Paul in this effort to push back against the Biden administration’s proposed block of federal funds for schools that offer these extracurricular courses,” he continued.
Paul told Fox News Digital that the “Biden administration is using the same provision I fought to have stripped from the gun control bill to wrongly justify their assault on Kentucky students’ hunting and archery programs.”
“My Educating Responsible Future Hunters Act permanently removes that provision and ensures the administration’s baseless attack on Kentucky and American values ends at the federal level,” he continued.
“Sen. Paul and Rep. Ogles deserve praise for stepping into the fray, calling out this administration’s ridiculous plan to block funds for hunter safety and other programs, and repealing this statute,” Gun Owners of America (GOA) Director of Federal Affairs Aiden Johnston told Fox News Digital.
“This is just one of so many poor policies that resulted from Senator [John] Cornyn’s ‘compromise’ on gun control that Congress never should have enacted last year,” he continued.
“Biden’s war on hunters and recreational shooters has been elevated to unprecedented heights by blocking these funds that have supported firearm safety programs in American schools for nearly six decades,” Mark Jones of GOA’s Second Amendment Hunters told Fox News Digital.
“We fully support the Educating Responsible Future Hunters Act to stop Biden’s attack and restore these important programs that provide untold benefits to millions of school children each year,” Jones continued.
The lawmakers’ bill comes as the Biden administration cracks down on archery programs and hunting education in schools across the nation.
Senate Republicans and Democrats fired off two letters late Tuesday in opposition of the Biden administration’s crackdown on school hunting education and archery programs nationwide.
The letters, led by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, stated that the Department of Education misinterpreted legislation with regard to funding for such programs and called on Senate Appropriations Committee leaders to restore funding. The first letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona was signed by nine Republicans and nine Democrats while the second to Appropriations leadership was signed by six Republicans and 11 Democrats.
Fox News Digital reported in July that the Education Department shared federal guidance to hunting education groups highlighting that hunting and archery programs in schools would be stripped of funding. The guidance explained that the administration interpreted the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to mean such programs can no longer receive taxpayer funds.
Fox News Digital’s Thomas Catenacci contributed reporting.