The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, 50 Stat.
917 as amended; 16 U.S.C.
669-669b, 669-669k, now known as the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, was approved by Congress on September 2, 1937, and began functioning July 1, 193 8. The purpose of this Act was to provide
funding for the selection, restoration, rehabilitation, and improvement of wildlife habitat, wildlife management research, and the distribution of information produced by the projects.
The Act was amended on October 23, 1970, to include funding for hunter safety programs and the development or the operation and maintenance of firearm and archery ranges.
Congress saw a need for additional funds to support hunter education and shooting range development, if States were to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
The Congressional Resource Committee had broad support from sportsmenâ¿¿s organizations who stated that States were not using their possible allotments to support these programs or there was not a consistent level of effort to further the future of hunting.
As a result, Congress passed the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs Improvement Act of 2000 and as part of this Act created the Firearm and Bowhunter Education and Safety Program (Section 10) to address these concerns.
The passage of Section 10 set aside $ 7. 5 million in 2001 and 2002 and $8 million thereafter to â¿¿enhanceâ¿ existing hunter education or shooting range programs.
States may use the funds apportioned to them under Section 10 to:
1. Enhance programs for hunter education, hunter development, and firearm and archery safety.
Hunter-development programs introduce individuals to and recruit them to take part in hunting, bow hunting, target shooting, or archery.
2. Enhance interstate coordination of hunter-education and firearm- and archery- range programs.
3. Enhance programs for education, safety, or development of bow hunters and archers.
4. Enhance construction and development of firearm and archery ranges.
5. Update safety features of firearm and archery ranges.
Section 10 funds supplement, not replace Section 4(c) Hunter Education funds, thereby enhancing a Stateâ¿¿s hunter education and safety program.
The following are some examples of eligible activities:
1. Training participants in the safe and proficient use of hunting equipment, hunter responsibility, principles of wildlife management, wildlife identification, and firearms handling; 2. Constructing facilities, such as classrooms, shooting ranges, and other support facilities needed for instruction purposes; 3. Gathering information to help develop, implement, and evaluate hunter education and safety grants; 4. Providing training in trapper education as it relates to safety, responsibility, humane trapping methods, and avoidance of nontarget species, and development of trapping skills; and 5. Communicating information about WSFR grant funded hunter education and recreational shooting sports activities.