December 22, 2023
NSSF PROFILE Q&A: Speaker of the House Michael Johnson (R-La.)
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. House of Representatives Speaker Michael Johnson, from Louisiana’s Fourth Congressional District. Serving in his fourth term, Speaker Johnson serves as the 56th Speaker of the House and was previously the Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference and served on the House Committee on Armed Services as well as the House Judiciary Committee. Speaker Johnson is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and the firearm and ammunition industry.
Who introduced you to hunting and the shooting sports?
I am a proud native son of Louisiana – “the Sportsman’s Paradise” – where hunting and shooting sports are integral to our culture and a big part of our lives. My grandfather was a competitive marksman, and my family was like most in our area, where it seemed that everyone appreciated and participated as we did in the great American pastimes of hunting, fishing, and shooting. Those traditions are still cherished where we live, and I have been happy to pass them along to my own children.
Describe your most recent hunting or shooting sports activity.
My most recent experience was the annual deer hunt I enjoyed last December with my sons and several of our close friends. Both of my boys had a successful hunt, and our time together at the camp and in the deer stands was priceless, as always. My role in Congress does not allow me many of these opportunities these days, so I cherish our time in the woods. I am very much looking forward to our short hunt this year after Christmas.
Describe your favorite hunting or shooting sports activity.
In Louisiana, I have always enjoyed any opportunity for deer and duck hunting, but in recent years I have also had great fun quail hunting with friends and colleagues in South Georgia. My family has also enjoyed our visits to the exceptional gun ranges in our area. My daughters and my wife are all excellent shots, and it is not unusual for them to win our family competitions.
Which piece of pending legislation related to the conservation, hunting and the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?
In my seven years in Congress, I have supported countless initiatives to strengthen Second Amendment protections and expand conservation efforts and access for outdoor recreation. I’m a staunch supporter of H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would simply allow people who are eligible to carry a concealed firearm in their home state to do so in any other state which also allows the concealed carry of firearms. I’m also proud to support legislation that prohibits federal funds from being used by states to establish or maintain firearm ownership databases. As the Biden Administration’s ATF becomes increasingly hostile to gun owners, it’s imperative that Congressional Republicans safeguard the Second Amendment and push back against executive overreach.
What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts?
While I have always been blessed to live in a state where political leaders at all levels revere our hunting and shooting sports traditions, that is not the case in all 50 states, and certainly not at the federal level. The Biden Administration has routinely sought to restrict the Second Amendment, through executive action targeting firearms retailers, firearm possession, and ammo. I will always fight to preserve our fundamental freedoms to keep and bear arms and our essential American traditions, and work to advance policies that halt unconstitutional and oppressive government overreach.