Who introduced you to hunting/the shooting sports and at what age?
My grandfather took me hunting for the first time when I was 4 years old and that began my lifelong love of hunting. At age 8, I entered a program at the local National Guard armory to teach kids about gun safety. At the end of the lesson, they let us shoot 10 shots with a .22 rifle – it was 5 standing and 5 prone. I’d never fired a rifle before except for a BB gun, and I didn’t know you were supposed to line up both sights; I just looked at one of the sights. My first shot hit the target well below the bullseye. Once I figured out the sights, my next 9 bullets went through about 3 holes in the bullseye, and I won the competition. After that, my grandfather bought me a .22 rifle. When I was 12 years old, he bought me my first shotgun – a Browning 12 gauge 2 ¾ inch.
What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting activity? With whom?
I went duck hunting Thursday after Christmas with some friends in North Carolina. It was a cold morning but the mallards were really flying so I limited out by 8 a.m.
Describe your favorite shooting sport/hunting activity?
That’s hard to choose. I would have to go with white tail deer hunting on my lease in South Carolina with my Sako .30-06.
Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearms industry is particularly important to you and why?
One bill that is incredibly important to me is my bill, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38). This bill passed the House in December and has been described by some Second Amendment enthusiasts as the “biggest guns rights boost since the ratification of the Second Amendment.” It is a common sense bill to affirm that law-abiding citizens who are qualified to carry concealed in one state can also carry in other states that allow residents to do so. Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that.
Another important piece of legislation is the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (H.R. 3668). This legislation would be a major step forward to ensure we sportsmen and women can access public lands. It would promote Second Amendment rights as well as responsible land and game management.
What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts in this congressional session?
While my concealed carry reciprocity bill received bipartisan support in the House, it now must pass the Senate. That’s going to be a challenge. But with a groundswell of support from Americans across the country and a pro-Second Amendment president, I believe we can make national concealed carry reciprocity a reality.