1) Who introduced you to hunting and the shooting sports?
I wasn’t “introduced” to hunting and shooting as much as I grew up with it! As a kid in rural New Mexico, hunting season was always a big deal. We’d have hunting safety classes in school – I’m sure my old certificate is in a box somewhere. Back in those days, shotgun and rifle racks were on the back of every truck in town. Responsible firearm usage and education has always been a part of who I am and how I grew up.
2) What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting experience?
I just recently requalified for my concealed carry [permit]. Honestly it was a ton of fun, being challenged to shoot in different scenarios and positions while keeping awareness of your surroundings. It was a bit tricky, though, because I had to do it with a .45, which has a bit more kick than the 9 mm I usually carry!
3) Describe your favorite shooting sports or hunting activity.
My very fondest memories are of going hunting with my Dad. I don’t know how he managed to bag a buck every season with three chatty daughters giggling in the back of his Jeep – I’m sure we scared off our share of wildlife. Hunting and learning how to dress a deer from Dad made me appreciate the realities of nature and where we get our food from.
Fast forward a few years to when I got my first deer tag. I shot my own 12-point buck, bigger than anything my Dad bagged. I was proud, but then again, he was a great teacher!
4) Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?
I’ve been proud to support a variety of bills that protect American firearm makers and enthusiasts. To name just a few: The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would establish a framework for consistent CC rights across state lines; the Silencers Help Us Save Hearing Act, which would exempt suppressors from their currently over-regulated status under the National Firearms Act; and the Second Amendment is Essential Act, which would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate the business of importing, manufacturing or dealing firearms a critical infrastructure sector.
We have also been successful in warding off radical “red flag” laws that would make it easier for extra-judicial seizures of guns from American citizens. These types of anti-Second Amendment proposals pop up regularly, so we must always be on guard against bad policies from the Legislative and Executive branches.
5) What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts?
The vast majority of gun owners are vigilant and law-abiding citizens. They are also the most energetic advocates for gun safety I have ever met. Too much of our national debate around firearms is driven by people who don’t even know how they function and haven’t spent five minutes on a shooting range. Our challenge is to flip that script and allow sportsmen and hobbyists to lead the conversation about exercising our Second Amendment rights in a safe manner.
This interview is from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.