May 21, 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 Louisiana State Rep. Blake Miguez (R-Erath) for agreeing to talk with us.
1) Who introduced you to hunting and the shooting sports?
My grandfather introduced me to hunting when I was a young boy. I would accompany him as he hunted ducks on nearby lakes or doves in the fields that he cultivated year-round. As I got older, I was able to hunt hogs and deer and have continued a hunting-way-of-life since.
My father is the one who introduced me to the shooting sports. At 12 years-old, competing in organized pistol matches became our big father-son activity. Some would say it became serious when I became a USPSA grand master at 17 years-old and won a Junior World Championship. Now, 28 years later, I have national and world titles and gold and silver medals as an adult. Max Michel, Sig Sauer Shooting Team Captain, is a childhood friend and all of the competition with him through the years had something to do with all of my success.
2) What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting experience?
Of course, COVID interrupted much of the competitive shooting around the country and the world over the last year or so but I did manage to win a USPSA national title at the Low-Cap Nationals. It was a proud moment in my shooting career because I was able to do it while balancing all of the responsibilities of being a father, husband, business owner and legislator working to defend Second Amendment rights. With that said, my “most recent shooting experience” is almost always spending time on the range I helped to build and shooting thousands of rounds to stay sharp for any future competitions I may be able to attend.
3) Describe your favorite shooting sports or hunting activity.
National and world competition is still where it’s at for me. It's in my blood. I’m still a member of the U.S. Shooting Team and we are all hoping that competition opportunities will return as we begin to get back to normal after COVID. As a sportsman lucky enough to be born and raised in the Sportsman's Paradise, I still hunt birds, deer and hogs whenever I have the opportunity and fish the marshes and deep water of southern Louisiana.
4) Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?
I am sponsoring HB 597, the FIND Act, in Louisiana this year. It is critically important legislation that is intended to discourage corporate discrimination against the firearm industry. Any companies that have discriminatory policies, like Bank of America and Citigroup, would be prohibited from entering into contracts with the State of Louisiana or any of our political subdivisions. In other words, they would not be allowed to financially benefit from the tax monies collected from the same Louisianans whose rights they are working to destroy. Forcing our good citizens to fund corporate gun control is wrong. This sort of discrimination threatens the health and well-being of the one industry in America that is absolutely necessary in order for the people to exercise a constitutional right. The firearm industry is special in the purest sense of the word and it deserves special protections.
5) What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts?
The Biden Administration and current Congress pose the greatest threat to our firearm freedoms our country has seen in its 245-year history. If left to their own devices, there is nothing on the gun-control groups’ wish lists that they would not enact. The President has said publicly that he wants to destroy the firearm industry. Of course, this is no different than saying he wants to eliminate the ability of the people to acquire firearms, a freedom secured by the Bill of Rights.
The bright spot in these otherwise dark days would be the millions of first-time gun owners who have joined our ranks over the last 12 to 18 months. NSSF reports that there were more than 8 million first-time gun owners in 2020 alone. The hope is that they become politically active and work with us to defend their right that they chose to personally exercise for the first time. They need to vote as if their freedom is at stake, because this is most certainly the reality of our current situation.
What may be best about these new gun owners is that they represent every cross-section of our diverse country. Those who have been told by their political and community leaders that they shouldn’t be buying guns have been buying guns. They are doing so because they want to defend themselves and their family members. They want to exercise their constitutional rights.
Speaking of constitutional rights, I do have my sights on making constitutional carry in Louisiana a reality, sooner rather than later.