Is This The Real Purpose Behind The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act?

FIRST ON FOX: Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have sounded the alarm on the Biden administration’s misinterpretation of a bipartisan law passed last year. The law in question affects funding for schools that offer hunting and archery courses.

As reported by Fox News Digital, the Department of Education is interpreting the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) in a way that precludes federal funding for school hunter education and archery programs across the nation. This decision has triggered criticism from Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who were co-sponsors of the bill with Sens. Sinema and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.

The BSCA, passed in June 2022, was introduced as an effort to promote safer and more inclusive schools following mass shootings at a grocery market in Buffalo, New York, and a school in Uvalde, Texas. While proponents lauded the bill’s intent, critics called it a “gun control” measure.

Unfortunately, the BSCA included an amendment to the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), listing prohibited uses for federal school funding. This amendment bars ESEA funds from supporting any person with a dangerous weapon or providing “training in the use of a dangerous weapon.”

The Department of Education’s interpretation of this amendment has led to the denial of critical federal funds to elementary and secondary school courses teaching children about shooting sports like hunting and archery.

Sens. Sinema and Manchin are firm in their disagreement with this stance. They believe that hunting and archery classes should be eligible for funding and not penalized. To address the issue, they are collaborating with lawmakers on both sides and the Biden administration.

Sen. Manchin said, “Any defunding of schools who offer critical programs like archery and hunting clubs would be a gross misinterpretation of the legislation and yet another example of this Administration trying to advance their radical agenda with blatant disregard for the law.”

Sen. Cornyn and Sen. Tillis also voiced their objections in a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, asserting that the Education Department’s interpretation contradicts the original congressional intent and text of the BSCA.

In response, Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., has introduced legislation to clarify that school programs training students in archery, hunting, or other shooting sports should be eligible for funding.

Hunting and pro-Second Amendment groups, including Safari Club International, National Shooting Sports Foundation, International Order of T. Roosevelt, Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation, and the National Rifle Association, have joined the chorus of criticism against the Education Department’s stance.

As this debate rages on, it is crucial for lawmakers to prioritize the proper implementation of bipartisan laws and ensure that educational programs promoting valuable skills and heritage are supported in our schools. Let us come together as Americans to protect our traditions and freedoms.

Source Fox News