U.S. Gun Owners, Sportsmen Generated Nearly $1 Billion for Wildlife Conservation in 2012

Photo source: WCS

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, those who have come under fire most in America’s gun-control debate — game-hunters, marksmen, and other gun-owners — actually generated nearly $1 billion in tax revenues that will be used to protect America’s wildlife.The proceeds are set to be distributed to all 50 states’ fish and wildlife conservation initiatives.

More than $882.4 million in tax revenues (up from $749 million in 2011), has been generated by America’s hunters, reports CNSNews.

“The sporting community has provided the financial and spiritual foundation for wildlife conservation in America for more than 75 years,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Director Dan Ashe.

“Through these programs, hunters, anglers, recreational boaters and target shooters continue to fund vital fish and wildlife management and conservation, recreational boating access, and hunter and aquatic education programs.”

The funds are derived from taxes on the sale of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment and tackle, and electric outboard motors, according to CNS. Fuel taxes on motorboats and small engines also contribute to the cause. 

“The financial support from America’s hunting, shooting sports, fishing and boating community through their purchases of excise taxable equipment and hunting and fishing licenses is the lifeblood for funding fish and wildlife conservation; supporting public safety education; and opening access for outdoor recreation that benefits everyone,” said Jeff Vonk, president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

“Fish and wildlife can be conserved, protected and restored through science-based management, and it is critical that all these taxes collected be apportioned to advance conservation efforts in the field.”

The funds will be put to use by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program, and the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program, both of which have garnered more than $15.3 billion for use in wildlife conservation efforts, USFWS said.