On Thursday, the White House confirmed that Joe Biden intends to sign a bipartisan bill that will undo his own administration’s attempted crackdown on shooting sports courses in schools across the nation.
Fox News reports that the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act, which passed in the House by a landslide 424-1 margin, will guarantee federal funding for schools with classes related to shooting and archery. The Biden Administration’s Department of Education had previously announced its intention to withhold funds from any schools that continue to host such classes, as a result of its own deliberate misinterpretation of a 2022 gun control law, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
“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,” said Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), on Wednesday. “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.”
Stefanie Feldman, a spokeswoman for the White House’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention, said in a statement that “the president supports a legislative solution to ensure ESEA funding can be used for valuable school enrichment programs, such as hunter safety and archery.”
The House version of the bill was introduced by Congressman Mark Green (R-Tenn.), while a Senate version was introduced by Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), and additionally sponsored by Senators Cornyn and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
The Education Department’s regulations, first issued in July, intended to strip funding from any school that featured classes involving firearms, bows and arrows, and other “technically dangerous weapons,” and thus would “not be funded under” the provisions of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the main source of federal aid for elementary and middle schools in the United States. The BSCA, which was controversially passed with support from Democrats and Republicans in 2022, included an amendment to the ESEA that outright banned federal funding for such schools.