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Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), late of the Democratic Party, has split with the Democrats she still typically caucuses with to introduce new legislation that would permit the Federal Department of Education to fund elementary and high school hunting and archery programs.
As reported by Fox News, Senators John Cornyn, and (R-TX), Thom Tillis, (R-NC) joined Sinema to sponsor the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act. The new bill would seek to further clarify an existing statute that the Biden administration has construed to allow it to defund extracurricular programs that provide education in the lawful, responsible use of firearms, such as target shooting, hunting, and archery.
Cornyn told Fox News in a statement: Educational enrichment programs like hunting and archery are critical to our next generation’s development and well-being, and this legislation would ensure they remain available in schools across the nation.”
“School-based archery and hunting safety courses help Arizona students learn and grow while enjoying the outdoors,” Sinema told the outlet Monday. “We’re ensuring the Administration follows the law we wrote so Arizonans can continue to benefit from these educational courses.”
Tillis added, “The Biden Administration’s partisan interpretation of BSCA to eliminate hunting education in schools is a slap in the face to millions of Americans, particularly in rural areas, and discourages bipartisan cooperation in Congress. Hunting education programs have wide bipartisan support in Congress, and I encourage my colleagues to quickly pass this legislation to ensure gun-grabbing Biden officials have no room for misinterpretation.”
According to a Press release from the Senators, Sinema said: “The Department of Education is wrongly interpreting the language of our Bipartisan Safer Communities law. We’re holding the Administration accountable and ensuring they follow our law so students can continue to enjoy school-based hunting and archery programs in Arizona and across the country.”
Posting to X, formerly Twitter she wrote, “After leading the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law, we’re urging the @usedgov to follow the law and allow students across America to continue educational enrichment programs and activities, including archery and hunting safety education.”
After leading the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law, we’re urging the @usedgov to follow the law and allow students across America to continue educational enrichment programs and activities, including archery and hunting safety education.https://t.co/swWZc0hpiK
— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) September 19, 2023
In an accompanying letter to Biden’s Secretary of Education Manuel Cardona, the Senators explained, “Unfortunately, and contrary to Congressional intent, the Department of Education (“the Department”) has misinterpreted the language to exclude certain educational activities from receiving federal resources.”
They concluded, “We ask that the Department interpret the language as Congress intended and no longer ask educational entities to seek other funding sources for educational enrichment programs that align with the intent of ESEA- supporting student achievement and student well-being. It is our hope that the Department will rethink its latest guidance that threatens students’ access to these programs, which support pathways to professional success, community safety, and personal wellbeing.”
Accompanying legislation has been introduced in the Hosue as well by Congressman Mark Green (R-TN) who recently left the House Education and Workforce Committee.
Green told reporters that the new legislation designed to correct the Biden administration’s misinterpretation, “is a win for our nation’s students who choose to participate in shooting sports. Defunding shooting sports in schools would be a disservice to students.”
Sinema, Tillis, and Cornyn spearheaded the Bipartisan Safer Communities law, one of the most aggressive Gun control acts in decades, a bill heavily criticized for broadening the legal definition of a licensed gun dealer, implementing extreme risk protection orders or ‘red flag’ orders and tightening purchasing and gifting restrictions on firearms. But seem to have taken serious issue with the overbroad interpretation of the law employed by the Biden administration in its efforts to undermine the lawful use and availability of firearms under the Second Amendment.