FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 14, 2023
Contact: Press_Paul@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
Dr. Rand Paul Continues Fight Against Biden Administration’s Assault on Kentucky Values and School Programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As a continuation of his efforts to defend Kentucky from the Biden Administration’s assault on Kentuckians and their values, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) recently sent a letter to President Biden urging his administration to withdraw its plans to block funding for elementary and secondary schools with hunting and archery programs.
When the gun control bill was before the Senate last year, Dr. Paul fought tirelessly to protect Kentuckian’s rights. He introduced several amendments and solutions to rectify the constitutional deficiencies of the legislation, including an amendment to remove a provision that prohibits schools from using their education dollars to be spent on arming and training personnel to protect students and teachers.
That same provision Dr. Paul fought to have stripped from the gun control bill is now being used to justify the Biden Administration’s crackdown on archery and hunting courses.
Had Dr. Paul’s amendment been adopted instead of blocked, the Biden Administration would be unable to use the gun control bill to threaten the existence of these educational activities. While Dr. Paul voted against the gun control bill, other Republicans joined with Democrats to pass it.
In the letter, Dr. Paul, along with Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and 17 other Senate Republicans, condemned the Biden Administration’s purposeful misinterpretation of last year’s gun control bill to justify blocking funding for schools with these outdoor recreation programs and urged President Biden to not only withdraw this guidance immediately but also support hunter education and archery programs in schools across the country.
“While the administration claims to be eliminating dangerous activities, this guidance will, in fact, have the opposite effect. These programs provided thousands of students with the opportunity to learn proper instruction for firearm and archery safety,” the senators wrote. “By including hunter education in schools, students are given the tools to be safe and responsible hunters. It is now clearer than ever that the Biden Administration will use the bill to attack the constitutional rights of Americans.”
More than 500,000 students participate and are certified through hunter education courses each year. These important programs help students learn how to handle firearms safely — in turn, decreasing firearm-related injuries and accidents.
Co-signers of the letter include U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Thune (R-SD), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Roger Marshall (R-KS), John Kennedy (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Jim Risch (R-ID), Rick Scott (R-FL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Braun (R-IN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
Full text of the letter can be found HERE and below.
Dear President Biden,
We write to express our deep concern about the Biden Administration’s attempt to use the gun control bill passed last year to block funding for elementary and secondary schools. In April, the U.S. Department of Education provided a guidance prohibiting Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) funds for hunter education and archery programs. Since the guidance was issued, there have been reports of schools canceling plans to include archery or hunting education in their curriculum. We write to urge the administration to immediately reverse this misguided decision and ensure funding for these vital programs is not withheld.
While the administration claims to be eliminating dangerous activities, this guidance will, in fact, have the opposite effect. These programs provided thousands of students with the opportunity to learn proper instruction for firearm and archery safety. Over 500,000 students participate and are certified through hunter education courses each year. Learning to safely handle firearms results in a decrease in firearm-related injuries and accidents. In fact, hunter education programs have decreased hunting accidents by over 50% since the program’s development over 50 years ago. By including hunter education in schools, students are given the tools to be safe and responsible hunters.
We voted against the gun control legislation. It is now clearer than ever that the Biden Administration will use the bill to attack the constitutional rights of Americans. Hunting and archery are strongly connected to the traditions and heritage of America. This outrageous overreach is an attack on hunters and outdoor recreation that must be addressed.
The Biden Administration’s purposeful misinterpretation of the gun control bill is attempting to take away valuable programs from students across the country. Hunter education and archery programs are beneficial to students both in rural and urban areas. We call on the Biden Administration to immediately withdraw the guidance and support these essential programs.