Minnesota Adult Hunter Safety Course


The Pittman Robertson Act

Hunters play an important role in caring for and managing wildlife. Every time an individual buys a hunting license, box of ammunition, rifle, shotgun, a bow, or handgun, an excise tax is collected by government and that money is redistributed to states.

In 1937, Senator Key Pittman of Nevada and Congressman A. Willis Robertson of Virginia sponsored what is now known as the Pittman-Robertson Act. This act created a 10% excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition. This generated tens of millions of dollars a year, that were mandated to increase game populations, expand wildlife habitat, and to educate hunters.

Today, the Pittman-Robertson excise tax is at 11%, and is collected on all firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. Through these taxes and fees on hunting licenses, hunters in the US contribute approximately $3.5 million a day toward wildlife conservation and hunter education.

Funds from the Pittman-Robertson Act are administered by the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Funds are distributed to states who use them to develop and maintain wildlife management areas, conduct wildlife research, and educate hunters. The Pittman-Robertson funded education programs reach about 650,000 people, every single year.

The 29 words

These words are part of the Pittman Robertson Act, ensuring that fees paid by hunters will not be diverted by any state agency:

"...And which shall include a prohibition against the diversion of license fees paid by hunters for any other purpose than the administration of said State fish game department..."