Firearms and ammunition manufacturers have made more than $ 14.1 billion in contributions to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund since it was founded in 1937.
Joe Bartozzi, President and CEO of NSSF– the trade association of the firearms industry – commented on the milestone: “This is really a remarkable win for the conservation of species. This fund was responsible for restoring and recovering America’s iconic wildlife, including the Rocky Mountain moose, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, wild turkeys, and a wide variety of waterfowl. It is also responsible for funding the recreation and conservation of non-wildlife species, including the American bald eagle, reptiles, fauna, and protected areas that enable them to thrive. The firearms industry prides itself on performing such an important and vital role in ensuring that America’s wildlife is preserved in abundance for future generations. “
The Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund, commonly known as Pittman-Robertson Fund or Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax, is a tax paid by firearms and ammunition manufacturers on the products they make. The excise tax is 11 percent of the wholesale price for long guns and ammunition and 10 percent of the wholesale price for handguns. The excise duty payable by manufacturers and importers applies in principle to all firearms that are manufactured or imported for commercial sale, regardless of whether they are used for recreational shooting, hunting or personal defense. The tax is currently administered by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) at the Treasury Department, which transfers funds to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
The USFWS then deposits the Pittman-Robertson earnings in a special account called the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund, which is administered by the USFWS. These funds are made available to states and territories in the year following their collection.
These 10 to 11 percent excise tax monies, collected since 1937 under the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, are specifically intended to be used by state wildlife protection agencies. Collectively, gun and ammunition buyers, hunters and industry are the largest source of conservation funding.