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Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Jim Risch has joined with Senator Mark Udall, D-Colo., in introducing a bill to increase recreational shooting and target practice opportunities on public lands.

S. 1702, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, gives states more flexibility over the use of funds provided under the Pittman-Robertson Act.

The proposed legislation calls for raising the ceiling on the percentage of funds that can be used for the acquisition, construction and expansion of public target ranges. It also increases, from one year to five years, the length of time funds are available to states for those purposes.

"The number of places where people can safely and responsibly take part in recreational shooting and target practice has decreased over the decades. This bill addresses that shortfall by giving states more flexibility in how they use their allotment of tax receipts provided by sportsmen and recreational shooters," said Risch.

The bill also limits the liability federal land agencies face for the use of public land for target practice and marksmanship training. It also calls upon those agencies to cooperate with state and local groups in maintaining target ranges. The National Rifle Association, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society and National Governing Body for the Olympic Shooting Sports have all expressed support for the bill.

The Pittman-Robertson Act was established in 1937 and created a 10% excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition to manage game populations, expand habitat and train hunters. The Risch-Udall bill is now being considered by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.