In a move that could impact popular student archery and hunter safety courses across Alaska, the Biden administration is now withholding key federal funding for elementary and secondary schools that provide archery or hunting classes.

The U.S. Department of Education told Fox News that the decision to block these funds is based off an interpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), passed by Congress last year, after a series of mass shootings.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of more than a dozen Senate Republicans who supported the BSCA, which was the first gun control measure approved by Congress in decades.

Murkowski touted the bill for toughening background checks and improving school safety, claiming, “It is responsive, I think it is responsible, and I think it is very targeted.”

The bill, however, included an amendment that prohibited using federal school funds to provide “training in the use of a dangerous weapon.” Now the U.S. Education Department is using the law to block shooting sports across the nation.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game hosts annual student archery tournaments every year. It has also partnered with local Alaska schools to provide hands-on gun safety classes for students who want to get their hunter certification through school courses.

More than 350 Alaska students in grades 4-12 participated in the NASP archery program last year. This includes hundreds of school-based programs from all across the state.

“Statistics show that school archery programs engage more students in the educational process, improve classroom performance, and reduce dropout rates,” the state’s National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) webpage notes. “Nationwide millions of students have safely participated in NASP, and more than 200 schools in Alaska participate in the NASP Program with more teachers being trained as Basic Archery Instructors every year.”

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game hosts annual student archery tournaments every year. It has also partnered with local Alaska schools to provide hands-on gun safety classes for students who want to get their hunter certification through school courses.

Alaska’s hunter education course provides training in firearms safety, wildlife conservation, and respect for natural resources, landowners and other hunters. Graduates receive a lifetime certification recognized by all states, Canadian provinces, and Mexico. Since its inception in 1949, over 30 million students have completed hunter education training in the United States.

“Conclusive evidence shows that hunter education courses have dramatically reduced hunting related firearms accidents — up to 75% in some states — and have brought about positive change in hunter skills, attitudes, and behavior,” the Alaska Fish and Game website notes.

Alaska law requires that hunters born after Jan.1, 1986, who are 18 or older, to pass a hunter safety course in order to hunt in certain areas of the state.

Advocates for youth shooting sports warn that the Biden administration’s interpretation of the law threatens thousands of school shooting programs that serve millions of students.

Tommy Floyd, the president of the National Archery in the Schools Program, told Fox News that his organization serves 1.3 million students from nearly 9,000 schools across 49 states.

“It’s a negative for children. As a former educator of 30-plus years, I was always trying to find a way to engage students,” Floyd told Fox. “In many communities, it’s a shooting sport, and the skills from shooting sports, that help young people grow to be responsible adults. They also benefit from relationships with role models.”

According to the International Hunter Education Association, hunter education courses train and certify more than 500,000 students annually. Such courses are a reason hunting related injury rates have declined for years while populations of deer, wild turkey, elk, geese and other species of game have increased exponentially for years.

Several GOP lawmakers have blasted the Biden administration over its interpretation of the act.

“This is shameful, but not at all surprising,” Rep. Dan Bishop. R-N.C., told Fox News. “The Biden admin will take any opportunity to stomp on your constitutional rights — even down to teaching kids archery and hunting skills.”

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Biden admin takes aim at school archery, hunter safety classes in Alaska and across the U.S.

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Friend of Humanity says:

    A Recurve or Compound bow are silent compared to guns and rifles and kids are allowed to have them. Haven’t there been kids fighting in wars in the past? Is our foreign regime worried that the children will get into this fight also? OR, are they going to try to convince the kids that these are dangerous weapons also (which they are if used inappropriately)? A big middle finger to the O’biden regime who don’t hold valid oaths of office anyway and have no legal authority to tell Americans what to do.

  • Lucinda says:

    Good for Biden.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Yep, good for him and all of his fellow puppets. They are digging their holes deeper and deeper with all of their illegal actions that are coming from their illegally-held offices.

    • Proud Alaskan says:

      When that trained young or old man or women saves your as@
      You will be thankful, then what do you said.
      I help you Thank You!

      • Lucinda says:

        PA – If that happens I will said [say] thank you.

        You might invest in an English as a Second Language class taught at the Mat-Su Adult Education campus.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    The abject foolishness of the mindless leftist ‘religion’ is mind boggling. But alas, it isn’t about enriching kids, teaching them useful skills that could actually make them safer, or even meaningfully educating them. It is about brainwashing, power and control. It is sad that so many are fooled by the leftist ideology and blind to the real intent.

  • Dee Cee says:

    Remember our own Murky the Swampette supported this bill. And she surely “didn’t know” the consequences. That’s not an excuse when it is her job to represent Alaskans. You’re responsible for this… as a voter… if you voted for her and if you participated in the “never Palin” or “never Begich” bs in our last Congressional election. Ak is a lost cause I’m afraid… mostly because conservatives are simply not smart enough to organize a win for themselves. Not locally, not in Congress.

  • Betsy says:

    Bi-partisan support passed the law. Sounds like they all agreed. I don’t necessarily agree with the decision. But I understand the logic.

    Its kinda hilarious hearing Republicans scream how all the kids are gonna kill themselves with guns now cuz school won’t teach them how to shoot. You people don’t even trust schools to teach kids about history and math. Now you are suddenly upset that teaching Kids how to kill other creatures is up to the parents now!

  • Tamra Nygaard says:

    So somehow leaving good, law abiding kids ignorant of firearms and archery makes them safer, while inundating them with porn and encouraging them to lie to their parents, cut off body parts, and take dangerous hormones is keeping them safe, too. Huh. What in heaven’s name have these idiots wrought?

  • Diana Graf says:

    Biden takes aim at nothing but accruing personal wealth and protecting the guilty.
    This is an agenda-driven AI message to Alaskans.
    Buckle up and start driving hard toward what you want your state to be.

  • Diana Graf says:

    The men will win over the machines…at least right now.

  • Toscano says:

    Ummmm. Wait a minute here. Just WHERE in the Constitution is funding authorized for a Dept of Education? Or for the arts? Or for archery and gun safety?This is the proper domain of the states and the family. Federal subsidies means federal DEPENDENCY and CONTROL, remember? Conservatives are not necessarily constitutionalists. Ron Paul would agree with me. Yes, we see all the other stuff that is unconstitutional being done by the idiotic Left, but if we are going to obey the Constitution is ALL things, let’s start with ourselves.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    And Biden decreed while dunleavy peed, on himself!

  • Paul Smith says:

    I would like to see figures, through a reliable survey, that tells us what percentage of these trained young people are known to have committed serious gun/bow related crimes with the skills they have learned through these courses.

    Furthermore, almost ANY object can be used to injure or kill a person. Why single out bows and guns. For example(s): sticks, stones, sling shots, pea shooters, pillows, rope, booby traps, etc. Get real politicians! The people who sent you to work for them are, oddly enough, not stupid – unless they re-elect you.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      I agree about the vast amount of objects that can be used as a weapon! I think that molotov cocktails should be outlawed!

  • ML, just common sense says:

    I thought archery was considered a sport? Is it not one of the Olympic Sport competitions? For that matter Rifle accuracy competitions also.
    The matter is not up to the Federal government anymore than abortion. It is we the people of our States that decide these matters. It’s time States started weaning off the Federal dollar. This dependency dictates by blackmail what a State can or can’t do by the Feds withholding dollars for programs we’ve become dependant on. A classic example is VP Biden, stating he would withhold billions of dollars to Ukraine, if they didn’t fire an investigator who was looking into their affairs. Basically, “do what we say or no money” the investigator was fired, as blackmailed to do. The cure for this is simple, get off the governments sugar tit. We can fund our Hunting safety programs as we have done for years through Fish & Game funding, and volunteers. Dads, since the beginning have taught their sons how to use firearms, for protection, and to provide for their families. The same holds true with archery. If we want to continue archery as part of our schools curriculum, look to volunteers, and charity organizations for funding and instruction. We do not have to be slaves to the whims of the federal government, that has over reached its design, and it’s authority to deny our rights. Elect representative’s that will endeavor to get the Federal government out of our private lives and our State. We the people will decide what we allow or disallow in our States through our legislation, as it was designed within our Constitution. “States Autonomy”

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    While Biden decreed dunleavy peed, on himself

  • Nerka Dude says:

    This Biden move is as stupid as if they would withhold education funds for schools offering driver’s ed as a means to reduce teen accident rates. HOWEVER – an acquaintance has challenged me to find more verifiable evidence than Fox News. I am working on it. Does anybody have access to the “Letter ” the admin has sent out? Can anyone post that letter for public view? Does anyone else have direct verification from the Adminstration preferably with a name on it? I’m outraged but still want strong verification.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      I was looking for something from the Dept of Education or the White House and cannot find anything. Seems like it would pop up in searches. Hmmm.

  • Richard Eide says:

    Murkowski never fails to fail us!