The following is from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which occasionally posts Q&As features with elected officials who support hunting and the shooting sports.
Who introduced you to hunting/the shooting sports, and at what age?
My grandparents taught me how to shoot in first or second grade. I would shoot at a bell, and they gave me nickels and dimes depending on my aim. They taught me about gun safety and made sure I understood how to handle firearms with respect.
What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting experience? With whom?
I recently went to Seven Springs Sporting Clays with my dad and my good friend, Pennsylvania State Representative Carl Metzgar. Shooting is a hobby that my dad and I share, so whenever we have time, we try to get out to the course together.
Describe your favorite shooting sports/hunting activity. Which firearm? Where? What’d you shoot?
My favorite activity is shooting sporting clays. I’m a member at Seven Springs, and I get there as much as I can. I also go to Carrick Gun Club in South Park and Vandergriff Sportsmen in Apollo.
When I have the time, I do enjoy hunting. I was stationed in Texas when I was the head of Navy legal for Texas and Oklahoma, and I had an opportunity to hunt wild pigs with some friends.
I prefer shooting over-under shotguns, and I have a Beretta now but want to someday buy a Krieghoff. My favorite gun is my grandfather’s Smith and Wesson .357 revolver, which he bought in the 1950s when he was in the Air Force. It’s amazingly accurate.
Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?
I’m a strong supporter of concealed carry reciprocity (H.R. 38), which ensures our Second Amendment rights do not disappear when we cross state lines. Because of the confusing patchwork of reciprocity laws between states, Americans with concealed carry licenses or permits to conceal a handgun can unwittingly break the law by making a wrong turn. Law-abiding citizens should have the right to utilize concealed carry for self-defense and travel freely between states that recognize this important right.
What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts during the current Congressional session?
Speaker Pelosi and her allies in Congress today are openly hostile to gun rights and fundamentally don’t believe Americans should have access to firearms. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, I’ve been on the front lines fighting legislation like H.R. 8 that would do nothing to address the root causes of criminal violence in America, and would instead punish law-abiding citizens. Luckily, we have a president in the White House who is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and a Republican Senate that will push back on the House’s unconstitutional proposals.
I think one area where there are opportunities for hunters and shooters is in conservation. On both sides of the aisles, there is strong support for protecting our nation’s natural resources, which is something the shooting community has always championed. In fact, one of the first bills signed into law this Congress was a public lands bill that expanded sportsmen’s access to federal lands.
National Shooting Sports Foundation aims to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide.