Montana Senator Jon Tester Presses Biden Administration to Stop Blocking Funding for School Hunting and Archery Programs

Senator: “Outdoor recreation is foundational to our western way of life and any reduction of federal support for these educational programs is unacceptable”


(Big Sandy, Mont.) — As part of his longstanding efforts to protect Montanans’ Second Amendment rights, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today sent a letter pressing the Biden Administration to reverse course on their decision to prohibit the use of federal funds for school archery and hunting education classes.

In his letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Tester expressed concern after learning the Department of Education has interpreted the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) in a way that would block federal funding from being used for these long-standing programs.

“In Montana, our schools have long offered shooting sport and hunter safety classes that play an important role in teaching safety and personal responsibility to students,” wrote Tester. “Outdoor recreation is foundational to our western way of life and any reduction of federal support for these educational programs is unacceptable.”


Tester continued his letter by emphasizing that the Administration’s misinterpretation of the law would limit learning opportunities for Montanans that are critical to student safety.

“Republicans and Democrats worked together last summer to pass BSCA, which aims to improve the safety and wellbeing of American students while protecting law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights,” Tester continued. “However, it appears that the Department of Education has interpreted this law in a manner that may reduce schools’ ability to offer important and long-established gun training classes… By misinterpreting which activities are now supported ESEA, the Department of Education is limiting learning opportunities critical to student safety.”


Tester concluded his letter by urging the Biden Administration to reverse course, writing: “I urge the Department of Education to reconsider the interpretation BSCA in a way that does not limit learning opportunities for students and does not present barriers to critical hunter safety courses.” 


As a proud gun-owner and strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Tester has repeatedly opposed banning assault weapons and will always protect the rights of law-abiding Montana gun owners.

You can read the Senator’s full letter HERE.


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