Wicker, Hyde-Smith Back Bill to Block Biden Attack on School Hunting, Archery Programs

September 8, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., today cosponsored the Allowing for Recreational Resources for Outdoor Wellness (ARROW) Act to stop the Biden administration from withholding funding for elementary and secondary schools with hunting and archery programs.

The legislation would clarify that the prohibition of the use of federal education funds for certain weapons does not apply to the use of funds for sports clubs, teams, trainings, or related activities provided for students. 

“It is outrageous that the Biden administration would cut hunting and archery programs that help decrease gun-related hunting accidents,” Wicker said. “The ARROW Act would preserve these important programs, which train students how to practice their Constitutional right responsibly.”

“The Biden Education Department’s kneejerk liberal anti-gun policy demonstrates just how much it does not understand or appreciate the valuable lessons instilled in youth who take part in hunter education and archery programs,” Hyde-Smith said. “I fully support this legislation to protect these programs and to stop these misguided threats to withhold funding to schools that offer them.”

U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., introduced the ARROW Act in response to the Biden administration’s blatant misinterpretation of a gun control law to justify blocking funding for schools with hunter education and archery programs. The bill follows a Barrasso-led letter signed by Wicker and Hyde-Smith that encouraged President Biden and his administration to withdraw any plans to block funding for schools with hunting and archery programs. 

The National Rifle Association, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Safari Club International, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and other organizations support the ARROW Act.

Every year, more than 500,000 students participate and are certified through hunter education courses.  These programs have decreased hunting accidents by over 50 percent.

According to the National Archery in Schools Program, 1.3 million students in more than 8,000 schools across the country participate in archery programs annually.  Nearly 40 percent of students who participate have reported being more engaged in the classroom.

Additional ARROW Act cosponsors include U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., John Thune, R-S.D., Roger Marshall, M.D., R-Kan., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Steve Daines, R-Mont., Rick Scott, R-Fla., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, John Kennedy, R-La., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Ted Budd, R-N.C., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Pete Ricketts, R-Neb., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

Click here to read the full text of the ARROW Act (S.2736).