Hunters and Recreational Shooters Fund Wildlife Conservation
Shooting sports participants are major funders of conservation programs. Dollars collected from excise taxes on the sale of firearms, ammunition, bows, and arrows go into a federal fund managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service, and then are distributed to state wildlife agencies. The state agencies are required to use these funds to set aside land for outdoor recreation, to improve habitat and re-introduce wildlife into these restored areas of their historic ranges, and to educate would-be hunters about how to pursue game safely and ethically. In total, up to 75% of the funding for state wildlife agencies comes from special taxes and fees paid by hunters, other shooting sports participants, and anglers.
These special taxes, which have been in place since 1937, have always been supported by hunters and anglers, including by the members and leadership of the Izaak Walton League. Today, the League is still actively involved in protecting and promoting opportunities for people to safely and responsibly engage in recreational shooting sports.