U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)-Editor’s Note: We are pleased to post the latest of our occasional Q&A features with an elected official who supports hunting and the shooting sports. NSSF thanks U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) for agreeing to talk with us.
1) Who introduced you to hunting and shooting sports?
As a child, the outdoors were just part of who we were. As a young boy, I caught my first fish in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and as a teenager, I became very interested in hunting – specifically bird hunting. These memories are still vivid in my mind today and help guide me as I work on legislation to ensure both conservation efforts and our fundamental Second Amendment rights are protected.
2) What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting experience?
My most recent shooting event was actually a skeet and trap shooting activity and fundraiser where I had the chance to try out my new 12-gauge shotgun. My most recent hunting activity was a brand new one for me – I joined bear hunters in my District for a hunt where a teenage boy was able to harvest his first bear. This was quite a different hunting experience than most that I have been a part of, but it was an incredible opportunity to see firsthand how hunting traditions are carried on and passed from generation to generation.
3) Describe your favorite shooting sports or hunting activity.
Bird hunting has always been my favorite hunting activity. Unfortunately, with the time demands of being a Member of Congress, I do not get out nearly as often as I would prefer. Hunting is such a time-honored tradition in Michigan and across the Nation and we need more Members of Congress and community leaders who are dialed into the needs of our hunters and outdoor communities.
4) Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?
I recently introduced H.R. 6970, the Firearm Industry Non-Discrimination (FIND) Act, in the House of Representatives. This bill, which has been cosponsored by more than 70 of my colleagues, is designed to address increasingly common “boardroom gun control” policies – large financial institutions and other corporations forcing restrictions or outright refusing to provide services to members of the firearm industry. The FIND Act will prevent any entity that engages in these discriminatory practices from contracting with the federal government – ensuring our tax dollars are not being used to benefit the bottom line of corporations working to erode our Second Amendment rights.
5) What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts?
It is essential that any newly-created law or policy related to firearms respects the Second Amendment and is based on actual evidence, not just feelings or paranoia. The only way to do this is by making sure both the citizenry and policymakers understand the utility and benefit that many Americans experience by owning firearms. I continue to be encouraged by the level of advocacy I’ve seen from my constituents and everyday citizens around the country in support of our Second Amendment rights.
About The National Shooting Sports Foundation
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org