Cornyn, Sinema, Tillis Applaud House Passage of Bill to Protect School Hunting & Archery Programs
Senators’ Educational Enrichment Program Legislation Mirrors House-Passed Bill
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) released the following statements after the 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 House:
“The Biden administration’s misinterpretation of these provisions has jeopardized educational enrichment programs like hunting and archery, which play a critical role in our next generation’s development and well-being,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation would ensure these programs remain available in schools across the nation, and I urge the Senate to pass it as soon as possible.”
“School-based archery and hunting safety courses help Arizona students learn and grow while enjoying the outdoors,” said Sen. Sinema. “House-passage of our bill moves us one step closer to ensuring the Administration follows the law we wrote so Arizonans can continue to benefit from these educational courses.”
“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. Hunting education programs have wide bipartisan support in Congress, and I want to thank my colleagues on the House for quickly passing this legislation to ensure gun-grabbing Biden officials have no room for misinterpretation. The Senate should take up this legislation immediately and send it to the President’s desk.”
Introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Mark Green (TN-07), this legislation is identical to the version introduced earlier this month by Sens. Cornyn, Tillis, and Sinema and cosponsored by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
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.