What is the Pittman-Robertson Excise Tax?
During the early 1900s, many wildlife species were dwindling in numbers or disappearing. Because of this, the ammunition industry stepped forward and asked Congress to impose an excise tax on firearms and ammunition products to help fund wildlife conservation in the United States. The revenue was then allocated to state wildlife agencies for hunter education, shooting programs and conservation efforts. The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, commonly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act, was enacted in 1938.
Since its inception, $11 billion has been collected from manufacturers and awarded to states through the Pittman-Robertson excise tax, making firearms and ammunition companies the largest contributors to conservation. “Today the funds are derived from excise taxes paid by the hunting, shooting, boating and angling industries on firearms, bows, ammunition and sport fishing tackle, some boat engines, and small engine fuel,” reported U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
“Vista Outdoor paid over $87 million in Federal Excise Taxes during our fiscal year 2017 to the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Fund. These funds were generated on sales of firearms, ammunition and archery gear from our brands including Federal Premium, CCI, Speer, Savage, Stevens, Gold Tip and Bee Stinger,” said Ryan Bronson, Vista Outdoor Director of Conservation and Public Policy.
Bronson continued, “Pittman-Robertson is the backbone of conservation funding in America, and we are proud that together with our customers we are contributing to the future of wildlife and wild places at such a scale.”
Learn more about the Wildlife Restoration Act, or as it is more commonly known the Pittman-Robertson Act.