Exclusive: Sen. John Barrasso Introduces Bill Blocking Biden’s Attack on School Firearm Safety Classes
By Bradley Jaye
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced a bill Thursday to block the Biden Administration from withholding federal funds from schools that teach firearm and archery safety.
Barrasso introduced the Allowing for Recreational Resources for Outdoor Wellness (ARROW) Act to halt actions by an administration that, according to Barrasso, “continues its attack on our constitutional rights and Wyoming values.”
As Breitbart News reported last month, Barrasso took the lead fighting a Biden Administration scheme to misapply the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, signed into law last year by Biden, to justify withholding funds from schools that have hunting and archery programs. The ARROW Act, if signed into law, would codify protections against the Biden administration and Beltway bureaucrats interfering in valuable firearm and archery safety programs in Wyoming and across the nation.
“These important programs help students learn proper firearm instruction and archery safety [and] decrease firearm-related injuries and accidents,” said Barrasso. “They also connect our students to the long-standing heritage and traditions of America and the West.
“Our legislation will stop any attempts to block funding for schools with hunter education and archery programs and keep Washington politics out of Wyoming’s schools.”
The ARROW Act has received support from the Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the National Rifle Association, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Safari Club International, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
The bill received praise in Barrasso’s state of Wyoming, home to a proud Second Amendment heritage.
“As Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction, I know how critical these programs are to students in Wyoming and across the country, and this action by the Biden Administration is an attack not only on our important education programs but our way of life,” Megan Degenfelder, Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction, said. She applauded Wyoming’s senators for defending their school hunting and archery programs.
“We thank Senator Barrasso for his introduction of the ARROW Act and to ensure that archery, hunting, and shooting sports programs remain unaffected in Wyoming schools,” Brian Nesvik, Wyoming Game and Fish Director, said. “These programs play a vital role in fostering conservation ethic in our state’s youngest citizens and play a valuable role in teaching our youth the value of wildlife and safety.”
Senators possess the ability to reign in administration actions through the appropriations process, through which Congress provides funding for various governmental functions, often with specific guardrails. However, with a deadline of September 30 to pass appropriations bills for next fiscal year, Congress is barreling towards another continuing resolution, denying elected officials the opportunity to carefully consider which government programs should be funded and at what levels by simply extending current funding.
It remains to be seen if each of the 12 appropriations bills will be considered before an extended deadline, although if history is a guide, Congressional leadership will introduce an omnibus spending bill at the last minute with limited opportunity, if any, for amendments. In fact, current spending levels were set last December after a series of continuing resolutions extended the funding deadline to the Christmas holiday season. With the 12 appropriations bills combined into one omnibus package, members of Congress were left with a single up or down vote on trillions of dollars in government funding.
Misapplication of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act by the Biden Administration will have far-reaching consequences in schools. According to the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP), each year 1.3 million students in over 8,000 schools across the country participate in archery programs alone.
The bill has already 22 Senate cosponsors, including Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Risch (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Kennedy (R-LA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ted Budd (R-NC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), and Josh Hawley (R-MO).