Blog Posts from Congressman Green


What They’re Saying: Rep. Green’s Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act

Children in Tennessee schools should not be prevented from receiving safety and skills training in archery, hunting, and other shooting sports by the Biden administration.

The classes President Biden sought to yank funding from aren’t only about hunting and archery, they are about teaching young Americans how to respect nature and to focus on a goal. The Biden administration's attempt to cut funding for these classes is a direct reflection of his disconnect with many Americans. We are a nation of hunters and fishermen. 

While President Biden lives in his own Swamp, Tennesseans are hunting and fishing in them. Outdoorsmen, community leaders and Members of Congress showed this administration they wouldn’t stand for it. Here’s what they’re saying…

President and CEO of the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation, Jeff Crane, said:

“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) appreciates the quick efforts of Reps. Green and Hudson to maintain the future of valuable enrichment programs for students across the country. Archery in schools, hunter education, wilderness courses, and school sponsored target shooting teams provide unique opportunities to expose students to the unmatched value of the outdoors and our time-honored sporting traditions.” 

He continued: “These programs help build camaraderie, develop life skills, and bolster educational opportunities for students from all walks of life.”

In a statement, the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports said:

“[We are] extremely disappointed that the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) blocked funding for hunter education and the National Archery in Schools programs from curriculums. We strive every day to provide access and opportunity for new and returning participants to the shooting sports. These incredibly safe activities are wonderful ways to get our folks, and especially our youth, outdoors.” 

It continued: “They are safe activities and teach discipline, focus and responsibility. This is due, in a large part, to the excellent programs we have had in place and that are now in jeopardy. It is a sad irony that as our athletes are working hard to make our Olympic team in the shooting sports the Department of Education is saying the programs that trained many of them can no longer be funded.”

Tony Schoonen, CEO of the Boone and Crockett Club, had this to say about the Department of Education’s attempt to cut funding: 

“The Boone and Crockett Club is very disappointed that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is functionally banning hunter education and the National Archery in Schools programs from curriculums. It’s even more frustrating that this has occurred through a guidance document, and not through a rulemaking process where more public input could be had. The Bipartisan Safe Communities Act clearly restricts the use of funds when ‘training in the use of a dangerous weapon’ is provided, but that’s just not the case for NASP or hunter education.” 

He continued: “These programs are all about making sure the next generation of hunters have the tools and knowledge they need to be safe in the field, and it’s a shame that they may no longer be able to get that training in the classroom. We applaud Representative Green for his work to ensure these programs can continue in our nation’s classrooms.”

Camille Green, Policy Coordinator of Wildlife Mississippi, released this statement:

“I am deeply disappointed that the Administration is choosing to block funds for schools offering hunter education and the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) in the classroom. The Bipartisan Safe Communities Act restricts funds when used to provide ‘training in the use of a dangerous weapon.’”

She went on to say: “The Department’s incorrect interpretation is bringing these two programs to a halt, negatively affecting millions of students, without making schools any safer. I strongly support protecting schools and communities, but we need rules that actually do that. I thank Representative Green and his colleagues for sponsoring this important legislation to provide necessary clarity to the BSCA.”

In an exclusive with Fox News titled, Biden admin withholding key funding for schools with hunting, archery programs, president of the National Archery in the Schools Program Dr. Tommy Floyd said:

“It's a negative for children. As a former educator of 30-plus years, I was always trying to find a way to engage students. In many communities, it's a shooting sport, and the skills from shooting sports, that help young people grow to be responsible adults. They also benefit from relationships with role models.”

He continued:“You've got every fish and wildlife agency out there working so hard to utilize every scrap of funding, not only for the safety and hunter education, but for the general understanding of why stewardship is so important when it comes to natural resources," he continued. "Any guidance where it's even considered a ‘maybe’ or a prohibition for shooting sports is a huge negative.”

He went on to say:The National Archery in the Schools Program is grateful for all efforts currently underway to preserve and promote our wonderful program. Since inception, we have provided a safe in-school archery experience for over 21 million students in grades 4-12. We humbly anticipate solutions that will result in our ability to keep changing lives: One arrow at a time!”

Luke Hilgemann, Executive Director of the International Order of T. Roosevelt, had this to say about the Education Department’s decision: 

“Without the next generation of hunters, the conservation programs that our nation relies on to preserve wildlands and wildlife will be in peril. This is a direct attack by anti-hunting forces via their allies in the Biden Administration."

He continued: “The International Order of T. Roosevelt will explore every means possible to block this ridiculous overstep. We must protect our heritage for the next generation.”

In a Tennessee Star article titled, Biden Administration Withholding Funds from Schools with Hunting Courses, Rep. Dan Bishop said:

The Biden admin will take any opportunity to stomp on your constitutional rights — even down to teaching kids archery and hunting skills.”

In a TownHall article titled, Thanks to Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, DOE Defunds School Archery Programs, Lawrence Keane, the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) had this to say:

“While NSSF was neutral on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, there were several provisions we did support including enhancing school security. We have become increasingly concerned by the Biden administration’s implementation of the law. For example, the Department of Education and Secretary Cardona are blatantly misconstruing the law to withhold funding from schools that choose to teach beneficial courses like hunter safety and archery.” 

He continued: “Congress must hold Secretary Cardona and the department accountable for violating the letter and spirit of the law to unilaterally deny America’s student access to these valuable programs as part of the administration’s attack on the Second Amendment. Stopping hunter education courses that teach safe and responsible firearms handling makes our communities less, not more, safe and diminishes our ability to pass on to the next generation our nation’s cherished hunting and shooting sports heritage.”

Rep. Green then joined Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Education and Workforce Committee Chair Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), and other House Republican Members in urging the Department of Education to reverse guidance blocking federal funding for school archery and hunting courses before the decision was reversed. The Republican leaders wrote to the Department of Education:

“These scholastic programs are where millions of kids learn safe and responsible firearm handling and storage, and this egregious, irresponsible overreach by your Department will have far-reaching negative consequences. Eliminating this funding through executive ‘interpretation’ of law flies in the face of congressional intent.” 

They continued: “Your actions to advance a radical Far-Left anti-gun agenda are not only an abuse of executive power but eliminate the opportunity for kids to learn important skills, safety, and life lessons.”

Conference Chair Elise Stefanik told Fox News in an exclusive titled, Nearly 70 Republicans press Biden admin over crackdown on school hunting, archery programs:

“This is the most recent example of a series of Far Left pushes by the Biden Administration and Education Secretary Cardona in the name of their partisan political agenda.”

She continued: “Despite long standing bipartisan congressional support, the Department of Education has decided to eliminate the opportunity for millions of American students to exercise their second amendment right by safely learning to use firearms and participate in recreational shooting sports.”

The House Education Committee Chair Virginia Foxx had this to say: 

“President Biden has weaponized the Department of Education to defund certain activities that do not conform to his liberal bias. Hunting and archery programs give millions of students the opportunity to learn about the outdoors, the heritage of hunting, and how to handle a firearm or bow safely." 

She continued: “These programs build stronger communities and for this administration to say otherwise just goes to show how out of touch it really is with the American people. This is a cheap attack on Americans’ Constitutional rights — specifically for responsible hunters and gun owners — ahead of next year’s election.”

Following Congressional pushback, the Department of Education (ED) agreed to work with Congress on restoring funding for extracurricular shooting sports in public schools.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti led a coalition of attorney generals from 24 other states urging Congress to pass Rep. Green’s Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act. He had this to say:

“Research increasingly shows that children who are more familiar with firearms and firearm safety rules are less likely to cause accidental shootings. The Department of Education should not target these useful safety courses, and I commend Congressman Green for taking action to protect responsible students.”

Senate Democrat Sherrod Brown joined the bipartisan coalition to reinstate funding for these programs. He said:

"School hunting and archery programs are an important part of many Ohioans’ education and teach students how to be responsible hunters, gun owners, and archers. These are exactly the types of programs the administration should be investing in—not cutting off support to."

In an article with WKRN Nashville titled, Tennessee congressman leads call to restore funding for school hunting, archery programs, Jason Harmon, the manager of communications and outreach with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) said this:

“We will continue business as usual until such a time when or if we have a reason to adjust our course of action. At this time we are looking into our current and available funding sources for the program to be ready in the event we need to adjust.”