February 18, 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 Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) for agreeing to talk with us.
1) Who introduced you to hunting and the shooting sports?
When my grandfather passed away, he left me his .22 rifle. I remember going out and shooting at jackrabbits and sage rats with my friends – one of the perks of living in rural Central Washington!
2) What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting experience?
My son, Devon, recently set up targets on our farm, so him and I will go out to do target practice when we both have free time. My wife, Joan, and I take our friends out there, too.
3) Describe your favorite shooting sports or hunting activity.
I always enjoy the opportunity to shoot clay pigeons. I don’t get out hunting nearly as much as I’d like to, but my good friend, Bruce Westerman [U.S. Representative, R-Ark.], has invited me to go duck hunting with him in Arkansas. I’m hoping to take him up on that offer soon.
4) Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?
The left continues to push for sweeping gun-grabbing legislation. Last Congress, Democrats pushed H.R. 8, a gun control bill that would limit firearm access to far-too-many law-abiding Americans. Already in the 117th, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee [D-Texas] has proposed a bill that would establish a national firearm registry and raise the minimum gun ownership age to 21. I am strongly opposed to any effort that would infringe upon our Second Amendment rights, and I know this will continue to be a battle.
5) What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts?
The Trump Administration made historic expansions for hunting on federal lands, but these expansions are certainly at risk under President Biden. I serve as Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, a group that advocates for responsible federal land management, public lands access and multiple-use. One of our goals is to ensure we maintain this access for hunters and sportsmen. Hunting and recreational shooting are integral parts of our country’s history, and we must work to defend and expand these opportunities; our public lands should continue to be enjoyed by the public.