- The Washington Times
Thursday, August 1, 2019

President Trump marked National Shooting Sports Month on Thursday, saying the vibrant culture is thriving largely because of gun enthusiasts’ “steadfast protection” of the Second Amendment.

“As we celebrate this National Shooting Sports Month, I encourage all those participating in recreational and sport shooting activities to continue to learn from this tradition and to promote a culture of safety and responsibility,” Mr. Trump said in a presidential message. He said the important tradition “is made possible, in large part, by our steadfast protection of one of our bedrock and most-cherished liberties, the right to keep and bear arms.”

National Shooting Sports Month was inaugurated in 2017 under former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The president said it recognizes America’s long history of recreational and sport-shooting activities, from sharpshooter competitions to entertainment legends such as Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley.

“Whether amateur or professional, shooting sport athletes possess the traits that characterize the best of our nation—they are disciplined, determined, passionate, and confident,” the president said.

Mr. Trump said he wants to ensure that participants have the proper facilities to learn how to use firearms responsibly. He noted that he signed into law this year the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act to aid state wildlife management agencies in “constructing or expanding shooting ranges, providing more opportunities for citizens to safely and properly learn marksmanship skills.”

He also said his administration has expanded access to public lands, and announced a plan in June to open an additional 1.4 million acres in national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries to new or expanded hunting, fishing and recreation.

“These actions will help ensure a perpetual investment in wildlife and habitat conservation, foster responsible stewardship, and increase interest in shooting sports for current and future generations,” the president said.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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