Range Development Funded by Excise Tax Dollars

Building & Enhancing Public Shooting Ranges
with Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act

NSSF has created this webpage as a resource for state wildlife agencies to better understand how and why to build or expand public shooting ranges using excise tax funds from the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act.

NSSF research shows a tremendous increase in overall participation in recreational target shooting in recent years. In 2012, 40.8 million American’s participated in target shooting which has grown to 63.5 million participants in 2022. This 56 percent increase is a sure sign of strength and longevity for recreational target shooting.

There are many benefits to this large increase in recreational target shooting such as; having a younger and more diverse population of shooters, the opportunity to recruit target shooters into hunters, and the substantial growth in Pittman-Robertson funding that is bolstering state wildlife agency budgets across the nation.

However, one drawback of this influx of target shooters is overcrowded shooting ranges. Because of this issue, NSSF submitted and received a Multi-State Conservation Grant project through the USFWS and AFWA that helps state wildlife agencies understand how they can build or expand shooting ranges using excise taxes from the Pittman-Robertson Act to provide additional shooting opportunities for the influx of target shooters.

This project consisted of several objectives with results listed below.

 

Survey Results

NSSF surveyed range staff from state wildlife agencies to identify expansion needs, concerns, developmental barriers and how NSSF and the shooting sports industry can best support states’ efforts to expand public target shooting opportunities.

View Report

Tarmarc Webinar

NSSF, along with USFWS staff, created a brief webinar explaining the benefits of utilizing the Target Practice Marksmanship Training and Support Act (Tarmarc) of 2019. This informative webinar covers all aspects of Tarmarc and explains how to best utilize this resource.

Key Research and Resources to Justify Range Development

Building public shooting ranges can be a large undertaking. This section will provide information to help state wildlife agency staff understand why there is a need to increase opportunities for target shooters as well as provide resources to justify putting the effort into building and enhancing public ranges.

Participation Growth

Participation Growth

Recreational target shooting has shown tremendous growth recently. NSSF conducts a nationwide study every two years to track participation in target shooting with results showing a 56 percent increase in overall participation from 41 million participants in 2012 to 64 million participants in 2022.

This report is available free to NSSF members. Non-member pricing is $500.

View/Order Report

Wildlife Restoration Fund Breakdown

An importing funding source for state wildlife agencies comes from excise taxes on firearms and ammunition. In FY2023 more than $1 billion from such excise taxes were allocated to state wildlife agencies. It is important to know that more than 70 percent of these funds come from non-hunting related purchases.

View Report

Historical Excise Tax Collections on Firearms and Ammunition

NSSF tracks quarterly obligations of excise taxes and has created this helpful chart showing the historical increase in collections. This data is available as a benefit to NSSF members. Ranges can contact the Membership Team to learn more. Additionally, the USFWS created an interactive chart showing distributions by state.

Additional NSSF Research Resources

 

Case Studies of Successful Range Builds

State wildlife agencies have used Wildlife Restoration funds to build, operate and enhance more than 800 public shooting ranges across the country. Below are case study examples as a reference.

 

State Maps Outlining Range Opportunities

It is important to provide recreational target shooting opportunities in high population areas so more people can have access to safe, clean and local shooting ranges. This project worked with 12 states to develop comprehensive GIS mapping reports that identify potential sites to build ranges within each state.

 

Additional Resources

There are many resources available to assist in your journey in building / enhancing public shooting ranges with wildlife restoration funds. A few key sources include:

 

For additional information on this topic please contact NSSF’s Director of Member Development , Zach Snow at zsnow@nssf.org.

 


This webpage and many of the materials posted here are the outcome from a project funded by the Multistate Conservation Grant Program (F23AP00384), a program supported with funds from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and jointly managed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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