June 15, 2012
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on June 7, 2012
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3065 could affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any such effects would be minimal over the 2013-2022 period. We also estimate that implementing the legislation would have no significant impact on discretionary spending. Enacting H.R. 3065 would not affect revenues.
H.R. 3065 would allow states to use grants awarded under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to fund up to 90 percent of the cost of building or operating public target ranges. Under that act, half of all federal excise taxes collected on pistols, revolvers, bows, arrows, and archer accessories are apportioned to states as grants for hunter education programs, including the construction and development of target ranges. Under current law, funds awarded under that act can be used to cover 75 percent of the costs of such programs. Because the provision of the bill authorizing federal funds to be used for up to 90 percent of such costs would not affect the total amount of Pittman-Robertson funds that could be spent, CBO estimates that enacting the provision would have no effect on the federal budget.
The bill also would allow states to retain their shares of Pittman-Robertson funds for up to five years to acquire or construct target ranges. After five years those funds would be reapportioned for other uses by the Secretary of the Interior. Because, under current law, any such funds that are not spent in two years are reapportioned and spent on other activities, CBO estimates that implementing this provision would have no effect on the federal budget.
Finally, H.R. 3065 would limit the federal government’s liability for certain incidents that occur on target ranges paid for using Pittman-Robertson funds or located on federal lands. Federal payments resulting from such lawsuits appear to be minimal, and we estimate that this provision would have a minor effect on the federal budget over the 2013-2022 period.
H.R. 3065 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
H.R. 3065 would impose a private-sector mandate as defined in UMRA by eliminating an individual’s existing right to seek compensation from the federal government for damages occurring at a public target range supported by federal funds. The cost of the mandate would be the forgone value of awards and settlements in such claims. Information from the Department of the Interior indicates that few, if any, of these types of lawsuits are brought against the U.S. government. Because such claims would probably be uncommon in the future, CBO estimates that the cost of the mandate would be small, and fall well below the annual threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($146 million in 2012, adjusted annually for inflation).