November 17, 2021
NSSF 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 Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) for agreeing to talk with us.
1) Who introduced you to hunting and the shooting sports?
I grew up with my grandparents at our ranch in Camp Wood, Texas, so I spent a lot of time learning how to safely handle firearms from my grandfather. I still remember the first time my grandfather let me shoot a rifle. He told me to hold tight because it was going to kick like a mule.
2) What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting experience?
I was able to get out to the shooting range in Pecos County with the county sheriff and his deputies the last time I visited. It was a great opportunity to spend some time with law enforcement and also do something we all enjoy. It was a little intimidating to do target practice with a group of LEOs but I was able to hold my own.
3) Describe your favorite shooting sports or hunting activity.
I now own ranch property and I love passing along the tradition of teaching my kids how to hunt and shoot. I go hunting with my two oldest children, one of who is in college. It’s a great time to slow down from everyday life and spend time together as a family.
4) Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?
There have been a number of bills this Congress that address and protect our Second Amendment rights. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which I cosponsored, is just one bill relating to gun ownership that I was proud to cosponsor. This bill would allow someone who is licensed to conceal carry to use that license across state lines, provided the state they are traveling to also allows for conceal carry.
5) What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts?
As I have begun raising my children, I believe we have an important opportunity to teach the next generation the importance of proper training, storage and maintenance of firearms. Certain political organizations try to push a misleading narrative to oppose Second Amendment rights so it’s critical we promote the use of firearms for sport and recreation.