February 23, 2023
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. Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) for agreeing to talk with us. Rep. Smith has served in Congress for Missouri’s 8th Congressional District since 2013 and is currently serving as Chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.
- 1) Who introduced you to hunting and the shooting sports?
Like many Missourians, my family introduced me to hunting as soon as I was old enough to hold a rifle. I’ll never forget hunting squirrel and rabbit with my uncles on my grandfather’s farm in Salem – the same farm that I live on today. After a fun day of hunting, my uncles would process the game and cook a delicious meal. Growing up in a working-class family in rural Missouri, we viewed rabbit and squirrel as special treats.
- 2) What was your most recent hunting or shooting sports experience?
Just a few weeks ago, I was down in Arkansas hunting duck with Congressman Bruce Westerman. While it wasn’t a competition, I’ll just say that I had a very successful day – I limited out and got all my ducks.
- 3) Describe your favorite hunting or shooting sports activity.
While few things can top the thrill of taking down a 350-plus pound wild hog, what I enjoy most about hunting is the experience and the memories that are made. For me, it’s all about the comradery – hanging out with friends, sharing stories, cooking the game and then sitting down together for a good meal.
- 4) Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?
Our men and women serving in the military are asked to do so much for their country, including having to move to new locations – some of which aren’t friendly to firearm ownership. I am proud to have introduced the U.S. Military Right to Carry Act, legislation that encourages states to enact laws making it easier for our service members to renew a concealed carry permit when they are on active duty. Of course, I would prefer states to have commonsense carry laws, but the least we can do is ensure our heroes protecting our country aren’t targeted by the radical Left just because they are doing their job.
- 5) What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts?
There’s no question that the Left’s obsession with eliminating the Second Amendment is the biggest challenge facing hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts today. Let’s take, for example, President Joe Biden’s statement during his State of the Union Address, where he called on Congress to ban one of the most popular firearms in America. Republicans will block any and all efforts by Democrats to limit Americans’ right to bear arms, whether they’re trying to ban certain types of firearms, ammo, magazines or more. As law-abiding gun owners know full-well, the Left will use any means necessary to chip away at – and ultimately eliminate – the right to own the firearms you need for hunting, sport shooting and defending yourself and your family.