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‘Ultimate Bragging Rights’ at Stake as Gun Lobbyists and Hill Aides Go Skeet Shooting Tuesday

THE DAILY BEAST.COM August 6, 2019 –  Just days after mass shootings left at least 31 people dead, a bipartisan group of congressional staffers is set to go on an outing to shoot skeet alongside gun lobbyists. The event comes every year, but its timing has a major gun safety advocate frustrated and troubled. 

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, a bipartisan group that supports hunters and anglers, organizes the yearly event. According to its website, the event is scheduled for August 6. 

“This annual competition gives teams from the outdoor industry the chance to compete against other industry teams for ultimate bragging rights,” the foundation’s website says. “Additionally, this yearly event allows members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Democrats against the Republicans in a friendly skeet, trap, and sporting clays shooting competition to determine the ‘Top Guns’ in Congress. Representatives of the conservation community and associated industry supporters also attend this event.”

A source familiar with the event said the “associated industry supporters” typically include members of the firearms industry, officials from the NRA, NRA lobbyists, and lobbyists working for gun companies. They routinely attend the event to socialize with congressional staff. A second source familiar said NRA officials are not expected to attend this year. And the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation enjoys support from a number of companies in the firearms industry, including Hornady, which advertises its bullets as “Accurate, Deadly, Dependable” and Thompson/Center, a subsidiary of Smith & Wesson. Richard Childress Racing, which belongs to former NRA Vice President Richard Childress, also sponsors the group. 

The foundation is a nonprofit group, and gathers members of Congress, governors, and state legislators for events focused on hunting, trapping, fishing, and other outdoor sports. Its members include Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate, as well as governors and state legislators from around the country. According to its website, its biggest sponsors are the outdoors stores Bass Pro Shop and Cabela’s. The site also lists the NRA and NationalGunTrader, where individuals can sell their guns, knives, and outdoor gear, as major sponsors. Because of its deep connections in the outdoors community and in government, its events provide important meeting places for power brokers. 

A spokesperson for the foundation did not respond to multiple requests for comment. It was not clear which congressional offices planned to participate in the scheduled event. The Foundation’s website counts 60 Senators and 180 House lawmakers as members as of July 3.  

Kris Brown, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, called the event troubling. [Read More]

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ultimate-bragging-rights-at-stake-as-gun-lobbyists-and-capitol-hill-aides-go-skeet-shooting-tuesday

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