WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBOY) — The United States Senate last week passed a bill allowing federal elementary and secondary education funds to be used to purchase weapons for archery, hunting and sport shooting programs despite the Department of Education’s interpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA).
Last month, West Virginia’s Senators were among those who signed a letter to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona asking the department not to withhold the funds.
The BSCA amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 to prohibit federal funds from being used to buy weapons for school staff or to train school staff to use dangerous weapons. The senators said that the Department of Education was contradicting its intent for the law by using it to issue guidance saying federal funds could not be used to support archery, hunter safety education or other extracurricular programs.
“West Virginians have a deep appreciation for the great outdoors, and school-based archery and hunting courses are key to fostering this admiration in younger generations,” Sen. Joe Manchin said in a press release. “I am proud we were able to work across the aisle to hold the Biden Administration accountable, ensure the law is implemented as written and allow students in the Mountain State and across the country to continue to enjoy these valuable programs. As co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, I remain deeply committed to protecting some of West Virginia’s longest and proudest traditions.”
The Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act (H.R.5110) was passed in the Senate on Sept. 27 after it passed in the House of Representatives on Sept. 26. In order for the bill to become law, President Joe Biden must sign it.