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July 27, 2017

NSSF Q&A: U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)


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 Congressman Henry Cuellar for agreeing to talk with us.

Pictured above, Congressman Cuellar on a dove hunt in Texas.

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

My father introduced me to hunting when I was about 11 or 12.

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

I went dove hunting about a year ago with family and friends.

Describe your favorite shooting sport/hunting activity?  Which hunt? Which gun? Where? What species?

I enjoy hunting doves in South Texas. I use a 12 gauge pump shotgun.

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

I feel that one of the most important issues for our small manufacturers, distributors, exporters, parts suppliers, and individual hunters and sportsmen is completion of the Export Control Reform Initiative.

As you know, the Obama administration in 2009 began transferring export control from the State Department to the Commerce Department. This transfer helps reduce unnecessary regulations and fees on our nation’s exports.

Currently the government is still looking at transferring non-military sporting and commercial firearms and related products, the only items left to transfer.

I helped introduce the Export Control Reform Act of 2016 last year, which would have completed this transfer, however, the Congress failed to pass the bill. While we have not yet introduced it again this year, I have signed a letter to the new Administration requesting that they take swift action on this issue to support our nation’s sportsmen.

What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts in this congressional session?

I think the biggest challenge is time. The Congress and the new Administration have expressed an ambitious agenda of priority items they would like to see passed this year. Given that, it will be hard to find time on the schedule for other important items. However, if we can find issues like the Export Control Reform Initiative, which have bi-partisan support, we can work together get good things accomplished for our nation’s sportsmen.

You may also be interested in: NSSF Q&A: U.S. SEN. HEIDI HEITKAMP (D-N.D.)