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August 23, 2017

NSSF Q&A: U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho)


Hunting elk - Sen. Jim Risch
Pictured above, Senator Jim Risch enjoys the success of hunting elk, one of his favorite hunts. View full size image.

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 Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) for agreeing to talk with us.

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

I introduced myself around the age of 12.

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

July 22, I went hunting on my ranch in Idaho with my grandsons.

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

I enjoy hunting elk on the ranch in Donnelly, Idaho. Depending on which type of activity I’m participating in, I prefer shooting with a 20-gauge slug or a .270 that I have had since I was a young adult.

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

Over the past few years, I have been particularly concerned by the former Obama Administration’s lack of support for small gunsmiths in the United States. A 2009 review found that the current arms export control system was complicated and duplicative, and placed U.S. firearms and ammunition manufacturers at a disadvantage. While the Obama administration lifted the burden on some U.S. military equipment manufacturers it kept many of the regulations against firearms and ammunition. In addition, Obama’s State Department went one step further and lumped small gunsmiths in with larger manufactures costing them thousands in new fees, even though they never export a single firearm.  I have worked with my colleagues to correct this problem, and have raised it repeatedly with the new leadership at the State Department.

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

Long-term, the challenge we face is protecting the sport. There are a lot more people that don’t shoot than those that do, and it’s important that we present it in the proper light so people are accepting of the fact that it is a real sport and we enjoy it.