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July 22, 2020

NSSF Profile Q & A: Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)

Editor’s 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. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) for agreeing to talk with us.

Who introduced you to hunting/the shooting sports, and at what age?

I was introduced to shooting sports by my dad and my brother. The first gun I ever shot was a 20-gauge shotgun. Not bad, right?

What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting experience? With whom?

I took my Ladysmith out to the range for a little target practice with my son.

Describe your favorite shooting sports/hunting activity. Which firearm? Where? What’d you shoot?

I shoot skeet, and I really enjoy heading out for some basic target practice with my Ladysmith. I think it’s important to stay sharp and maintain those skills. Too many people purchase a gun and then let it gather dust in a drawer. That doesn’t do anyone any good! I always encourage my friends and colleagues to get comfortable with their firearms. Making safe shooting part of your routine keeps everyone safe and makes range time a lot more fun.

Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?

Everyone needs to keep an eye on Senator Kevin Cramer’s Freedom Financing Act (S. 821). Similar to how we’ve seen Google punishing advertisers for their opinions, we’ve seen banks like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America punishing firearms businesses for their trade. Over the past few years, the largest and most important banks in the United States have “derisked” (their words, not mine) from firearms manufacturers by canceling their accounts – essentially discriminating against legal commerce because that commerce is politically unpopular. Senator Cramer’s bill would prohibit those banks from accessing federally funded insurance.

What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts during the current Congressional session?

Sportsmen are looking at some serious issues regarding federal land acquisition. The federal government has a nasty habit of acquiring land, and then closing it off for use by hunters and sportsmen. We have to be watchful of what happens on that front. We’re also watching for any movement on anti-Second Amendment legislation. Not all efforts to infringe on our right to bear arms are obvious; in addition to fighting back against confiscation and bans, we have to look for attempts to make the Second Amendment less meaningful, and less specific to individuals.

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