The Biden administration has confirmed that it will withhold key funds from schools that offer hunting and archery classes. The decision is a direct attack on rural America and the Second Amendment, according to critics.
Fox News reported that the Department of Education said in a statement that funding from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 was being blocked because of its interpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). That is a a gun control bill that was signed into law following a shooting in Uvalde, Texas, last year after Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) “expended two decades of political capital” to get it passed, as The Texas Tribune reports.
These federal funds under ESEA for schools with hunting and archery programs impact thousands of schools and potentially millions of students across the country.
“This prohibition applies to all ESEA funds,” the Department said. “The prohibition went into effect immediately on June 25, 2022 and applies to all existing and future awards under all ESEA programs, including [21st Century Community Learning Centers]. The Department is administering the bipartisan law as written by Congress.”
The BSCA included “an amendment to an ESEA subsection listing prohibited uses for federal school funding,” Fox News reported. “That amendment prohibits ESEA funds from helping provide any person with a dangerous weapon or to provide ‘training in the use of a dangerous weapon.’”
The Biden administration has interpreted the law so broadly that it now includes hunting and archery classes. And the decision has been met with widespread criticism from conservatives. They argue that the Biden administration is intentionally misinterpreting the law in order to push its anti-gun agenda. They also point out that hunting and archery classes are an important part of rural culture, and that the Biden administration’s decision will disproportionately harm rural schools.
“This is a direct attack on rural America,” said Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA). “Hunting and archery are a way of life for many rural families, and this decision will make it harder for them to pass on these traditions to their children.”
“The Biden administration is trying to silence rural America,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). “This is a clear attempt to punish people who enjoy hunting and archery.”
Because of @JohnCornyn's gun control bill that Biden signed into law last year, the Biden admin is now blocking federal funds for schools with hunting or archery programs in their curriculum.
Thank you to Cornyn and all the RINO losers in the senate that made this possible. pic.twitter.com/VTUxDIeMrI
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 1, 2023