The White House has confirmed that President Joe Biden will buck his own party and reverse his administration’s decision to defund school shooting sports courses across the nation.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
The word came down Thursday that Biden is doing an about-face on the shooting courses as he preps to sign legislation reversing the decision to defund them as an election year looms.
Critics have branded the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) as “gun control.” Leftists assert it is making schools “safer, more inclusive and positive.” It was originally passed in 2022 following mass shootings in New York and Texas. The Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act is attempting to carve out an exception for school courses on shooting sports and archery.
“A White House spokesperson told Fox News Digital that Biden supports the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act which ensures elementary and secondary school hunting and archery programs continue to receive federal funds after the Department of Education began withholding funding earlier this year. The spokesperson further pointed to a statement from Stefanie Feldman, the director of the White House’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention,” Fox News reported.
“The President supports a legislative solution to ensure ESEA funding can be used for valuable school enrichment programs, such as hunter safety and archery,” Feldman announced this week.
When I signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, we took on the NRA and won. pic.twitter.com/NdQi9nQVHB
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 25, 2023
On Wednesday, the bipartisan legislation passed unanimously in the Senate. It also passed the House in a 424-1 vote. Both Republicans and Democrats support the bill and assert that the 2022 gun control law had been misinterpreted by the administration, restricting students’ access to hunting safety, archery, and even culinary classes. They recognize it is patently absurd and will tick off voters to no end.
“The Biden administration’s shameful and deliberate misinterpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has jeopardized students’ access to educational enrichment programs like hunting and archery,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) stated on Wednesday, according to Fox News.
“This legislation would ensure these valuable programs remain available in schools across the country, and I urge the president to immediately sign it into law and right this egregious wrong,” he added.
The Senate version of the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act was introduced by Sens. Cornyn., Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) earlier in September. Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) introduced the House version in August.
It’s voting season. The dems always reverse course until they get back into office then switch back.
— Stephan Wylie (@stephan_wylie) September 28, 2023
A similar bill was introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) who is up for reelection. He asserted that the Biden administration’s funding decision threatened his state’s “longstanding and proud tradition of hunting and shooting sports.”
“In Montana and across rural America, our schools have long offered hunter safety classes that teach our students gun safety and personal responsibility,” Tester noted in remarks made on the Senate floor Wednesday. “But recently the Biden Administration and bureaucrats in Washington who don’t understand our Montana values decided to block funding for these important education programs.”
“Let me be clear: I think that’s a poor decision that will hurt thousands of students who benefit from these resources every year,” he proclaimed.
Fox News Digital noted the fact that the Education Department “shared federal guidance to hunting education groups highlighting that hunting and archery programs in schools would be stripped of funding. The guidance explained that the administration interpreted the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) to mean such programs can no longer receive taxpayer funds.”
You should be ashamed of authoring the worst gun control in decades—the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act—which has been weaponized against gun owners countless times already! https://t.co/DyhRZpAfQG
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) September 28, 2023
“In the guidance, obtained first by Fox News Digital, senior agency official Sarah Martinez wrote that archery, hunter education, and wilderness safety courses use weapons that are ‘technically dangerous weapons’ and therefore ‘may not be funded under’ the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is the primary source of federal aid for elementary and secondary education across the country,” the media outlet continued.
Because of Biden’s federal guidelines, many schools across the country have allegedly stopped providing these courses to students.
“The BSCA included an amendment to a subsection in the ESEA listing that prohibited uses for federal school funding. That amendment prohibits ESEA funds from helping provide any person with a dangerous weapon or to provide ‘training in the use of a dangerous weapon,’ but, according to the BSCA’s sponsors, was included to prevent ESEA funding for school resource officer training,” Fox News wrote.
The Department of Education dug in and claimed that it would only reverse course if explicit legislation was passed that revised the 2022 law to allow funding for shooting sports programs in schools.
Senate Republicans NEVER should have compromised with the Second Amendment. Congress ought to have armed willing teachers, but instead @JoeBiden weaponized the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act against school hunting & archery.
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) September 27, 2023
“The Department of Education is completely tone-deaf to think that cutting hunting and archery programs in schools is a good idea,” House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) commented according to Fox News.
“These programs have been around for decades,” Foxx contended. “They educate millions of students on how to become better stewards of our land and animals, and they develop responsible hunters and gun owners. It should be a wake-up call for this administration that this bill passed on a bipartisan basis. Hunting and archery programs are here to stay.”
“Cornyn, Sinema, and Tillis — the Senate sponsors of the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act — were three of the four sponsors of the BSCA. The fourth sponsor, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., signed onto a letter on Sept. 5 to Senate Appropriations Committee leaders, asking for the issue to be fixed in the upcoming government funding package,” Fox News said.