January 20, 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?
I was born and raised in Upstate New York – the cradle of the American Revolution. In fact, we live in the town where the British forces surrendered to the American troops at the Battles of Saratoga which turned the tide of the war. Respect for Second Amendment rights and shooting sports family traditions run very deep here. I’m not a hunter, but I do enjoy shooting trap and skeet at the range. My husband is originally from Kansas and loves bird hunting and really started us going to the range more frequently. I love getting out for some fresh air and keeping my aim on clays when I can!
2) What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting experience?
It’s been an extremely busy year working to serve and deliver results to the hardworking families of New York’s 21st Congressional District. My husband and I were graciously invited by President Trump to spend a weekend at Camp David outside of Washington, D.C. where U.S. presidents have gone since President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Camp David has a shooting range there and we were able to spend some time in the afternoon shooting clays with the Marines on duty. We learned that it was NSSF that refurbished the range during President George W. Bush’s administration.
3) Describe your favorite shooting sports or hunting activity.
I mentioned shooting clays which I enjoy greatly, but I’ve also done more rifle shooting practice with my husband as well. Our number one priority is always safety and responsibility when handling a firearm.
4) Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?
I strongly support lawful firearm carriers having constitutional protections across state lines. My colleague Rep. Morgan Griffith introduced H.R. 225 once again in this new Congressional session to protect interstate firearm transportation for legal firearm owners. I’m also a strong supporter of national concealed carry reciprocity. I’m cosponsoring my friend Rep. Richard Hudson’s bill, H.R. 38, to implement that policy as well. With Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, gun rights policies have an uphill battle, but we will continue to strongly support these important bills.
5) What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts?
The Second Amendment is under constant attack – especially in New York State. In 2020, we saw historic numbers of firearm purchases including first-time buyers and a record number of women and minorities. One of my priorities has been recruiting more women to run for Congress and we now have a record number of women Members of Congress who strongly support the Second Amendment. Ensuring the right to purchase and own firearms is critical now more than ever and I will continue advocating to make sure our Constitutional rights are not infringed.