July 21, 2021
NSSF PROFILE Q & A: U.S. Representative Byron Donalds (R-Fla.)
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. Representative Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) for agreeing to talk with us.
Who introduced you to hunting and the shooting sports?
Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, I wasn’t raised around hunting or recreational shooting. It wasn’t until I was an adult with a family to protect that I understood the importance of firearms, the Second Amendment, and proper gun etiquette. I am now a proud legal gun owner and make it a point to teach my sons gun safety.
What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting experience?
I joined friends in Southwest Florida, and we spent an afternoon shooting a variety of long guns and pistols at an indoor range. It’s a great way to bring people together, sharpen your skills, and build comradery.
Describe your favorite shooting sports or hunting activity.
Being able to shoot with my three sons. Teaching them the importance of gun safety, and how to properly handle a firearm – they are all important life lessons and fond memories that I am blessed to share with my sons.
Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?
When I was serving in the Florida State Legislature, a bill was introduced that permit red flag orders in Florida that unconstitutionally restricted access to firearms for law-abiding citizens and raised the minimum age to purchase a long gun in Florida. I was one of roughly 19 Republicans to oppose this legislation. I faced extreme backlash from colleagues, gun-control advocates and more – but I don’t regret my decision. That day, I protected the United States Constitution, I protected the rights of every single American, and even though that bill did pass, I’m proud to say I stood on the right side of history that day.
On the federal level, President Biden and his administration are adamant on taking advantage of Democrats having the majority in the House and Senate in order to pass sweeping and unconstitutional gun-control legislation like, – a disturbing piece of legislation and would violate the constitutional rights of every American.
What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts?
Combatting the false narrative surrounding legal and lawful gun ownership. The mainstream media continues to paint a picture that all gun-owners are evil racists when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Ways we combat that are through promoting gun safety and education in handling firearms, encourage lawful firearm ownership, and to teach the true meaning and importance of the Second Amendment.
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