Editor’s Note: We are pleased to post the latest of our occasional Q&A features with an elected official who supports hunting and the shooting sports. NSSF thanks U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) for agreeing to talk with us.
Who introduced you to hunting and the shooting sports?
When I was growing up, my brothers taught me how to shoot and, most importantly, how to handle guns safely. I learned to shoot at outdoor targets and later we’d shoot sporting clays using a handheld manual clay thrower. Since then I’ve always kept up with practicing at the range, but it was only in the last few years that I got back into shooting clays again.
What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting experience? With whom?
There’s a local outdoor range my husband Dean and I love going to a few times a year. It’s always fun to shoot clays, enjoy the outdoors and get a chance to meet other folks who love recreational shooting.
Describe your favorite shooting sports or hunting activity.
I’m not a hunter, but I love going to the firing range or shooting clay pigeons. I grew up in a competitive family, so that’s part of it for me, but mostly I just do it for fun. My husband and brother have gotten into competitive sporting clays and trap shooting, so I’ll sometimes join them for target practice. It’s a really great pastime that friends and family can enjoy together, even if everyone’s at a different skill level.
Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?
I’ve always been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. When I served in the Indiana Statehouse I co-authored the lifetime concealed carry permit law, and now in Congress I support the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38/S. 69). Americans don’t give up their constitutional rights when they cross state lines, so this commonsense bill would allow those legally permitted to carry a concealed firearm to do so in any state that allows it, as long as they follow state and local laws. It would uphold our rights, keep our communities safe, and protect law-abiding citizens from a confusing patchwork of state laws.
What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts during the current Congressional session?
Our Second Amendment rights are fundamental to who we are as a nation, whether it’s the right to carry a handgun for self-defense or the right to take part in treasured pastimes like hunting and shooting sports. I’m committed to always standing up for America’s law-abiding gun owners against misguided and unconstitutional efforts to weaken their rights. We can find the right balance to both preserve the right to bear arms and keep our communities safe.
One area of bipartisan agreement is the importance of protecting our nation’s public lands. I represent Elkhart, where 80 percent of the RVs [recreational vehicles] you see on the road are manufactured, so I know how vital outdoor recreation is to our economy. That’s why I was so pleased Congress recently passed and President Trump signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act. This landmark legislation will revitalize our public lands and improve access for generations of Americans.
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National Shooting Sports Foundation aims to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers nationwide.