Increased Gun Sales Pour Money Into Wildlife Restoration Fund
The gun control debate is having some rather unanticipated consequences, as increased gun sales direct more money to benefit wildlife.
The Wildlife Restoration Fund has been granted an unexpected boom this year as the sales of guns and ammunition skyrocketed. Every purchase of sporting goods includes an excise tax. This means that everything from a fishing pole to a shotgun is taxed, and this money goes to the Wildlife Restoration Fund.
This Fund receives contributions from every state, and those are then doled out to the states, in shares according to state size and the number of hunting licenses.
Doyle Brown is a Federal Aid Coordinator for the Missouri Department of Conservation. He says these funds are important to conservation efforts across the country, and especially in Missouri.
“In Missouri, we use that money to fund a lot of our projects. Whether it be for taking care of our conservation areas, for building new boat ramps when comes to sport fish, renovating our fish hatcheries,” Brown said.
Missouri concentrates much of its funds in water sports, due to the popularity of fishing and recreational boating. This comes back around to help support the industry and other programs, like hunter education.
“It’s a big industry in Missouri. You know, we have a lot of anglers in the state of Missouri, and a lot of water, and people like to get out and fish and do recreational boating,” Brown said.
There are two types of grants these funds go to in Missouri; education and restoration. Missouri receives the tenth highest amount of funds from this program. In fiscal year 2013 the Show-Me State received over $14 million.