Friday, April 5, 2013

31 Major Hunting and Wildlife Organizations Representing Tens of Millions of Americans Oppose Universal Background Checks

From the NRA- The National Rifle Association, with 30 other prominent hunting and wildlife preservation organizations which represent tens of millions of Americans, sent the following letter to the leadership in the United States Senate. This letter lays out a 5-point plan to make our communities safer. The organizations strongly oppose unnecessary restrictions which would not reduce crime or prevent tragedy, such as universal background checks.

April 4, 2013 

Dear Senators: 

Our organizations, which represent millions of Americans who actively support professional 
wildlife management and the advancement of our nation’s hunting and recreational shooting 
heritage, are writing to express our sincere hope that your upcoming gun control debate will be 

Like you, we were devastated by the recent tragedy in Connecticut, and we share your goal of 
ensuring that appropriate actions are taken to prevent similar acts of senseless violence in the 
future.  We believe an opportunity exists to enact legislation that addresses the causative agents 
of this and similar tragic events. Specifically we support:  

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) improvement measures that
will effectively prevent access to firearms by those not legally qualified to possess them, 
without criminalizing private transfers; 
Vigorous enforcement of existing federal firearms laws; 
Efforts to improve security in our nation’s schools; 
A comprehensive process to review, evaluate and recommend changes to our nation’s 
treatment of the mentally ill before their actions result in these devastating consequences; 
The development and implementation of a community based “family watch” program 
that helps families with concerns that an immediate family member who they believe has 
the potential to become a societal danger is afforded the assistance that they need to 
intervene before a tragedy occurs.  

As much as we support this five point plan that responds to the causative agents that could have 
potentially avoided this tragedy, we oppose unnecessary restrictions of our ability to attain and 
possess legal firearms and that have no foundation in addressing the factors that led to this 
tragedy or like tragedies.  

In addition, the signatories to this letter are proud of our hunting and recreational shooting 
heritage and the support that our activities contribute to our nation’s conservation, economic and 
societal interests.  

Specifically, shooting sports participants are the largest financial supporters of wildlife 
conservation throughout the United States, having contributed over $5.4 billion to the 
management of our nation’s wildlife, recreational shooting and hunter education through 
Pittman-Robertson excise tax payments since 1991. This uniquely American System of 
Conservation Funding – a “user pays-public benefits” system - is heralded internationally as the 
most successful wildlife management program in the world.  

Economically, the companies in the United States that manufacture, distribute and sell firearms, 
ammunition and hunting equipment employ as many as 98,752 people in the country and 
generate an additional 110,998 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries.  In 2012 alone the 
firearms and ammunition industry was responsible for as much as $31.84 billion in total 
economic activity in the United States. The significant contributions these companies are making 
to our nation’s economic recovery should not be sacrificed to unnecessary and ineffective 
restrictions and bans, no matter how well-intended their proponents may be.   

These lawful recreational activities provide untold hours of benefits to our nation’s families and 
their friend and neighbors that should not be unnecessarily impinged upon.  

For these reasons, the undersigned organizations respectfully request that you continue to work 
collectively, as the voice of sportsmen and recreational shooters in Congress, toward pragmatic 
bipartisan solutions in a manner that enhances wildlife conservation, benefits the economy and 
protects America’s rich hunting and shooting heritage, while not impeding the Second 
Amendment rights of our members.  Thank you for your ongoing service to our nation and future 
generations of sportsmen and women conservationists.  


Archery Trade Association 
Boone and Crockett Club 
Campfire Club of America 
Catch-A-Dream Foundation 
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation 
Conservation Force 
Dallas Safari Club 
Delta Waterfowl 
Masters of Foxhounds 
Mule Deer Foundation 
National Rifle Association 
National Shooting Sports Foundation 
National Trappers Association 
National Wild Turkey Federation 
North American Bear Foundation 
North American Grouse Partnership 
Orion, The Hunter’s Institute 
Pheasants Forever 
Pope & Young Club 
Quail Forever 
Quality Deer Management Association 
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation 
Ruffed Grouse Society 
Safari Club International 
Texas Wildlife Association 
U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance   
Whitetails Unlimited 
Wild Sheep Foundation 
Wildlife Forever 
Wildlife Management Institute 
Wildlife Mississippi 

CC: The Honorable Patrick Leahy 
The Honorable Chuck Grassley 

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