August 23, 2013
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on July 31, 2013
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2463 could affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any such effects would be minimal over the 2014-2023 period. We also estimate that implementing the legislation would have no significant impact on discretionary spending. Enacting H.R. 2463 would not affect revenues.
H.R. 2463 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 archery accessories are apportioned to states as grants for hunter education programs and for the construction and development of target ranges. Funds awarded under that act currently 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 significant 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 significant effect on the federal budget.
Finally, H.R. 2463 would limit the federal government’s liability for certain incidents that occur on target ranges that are either constructed with 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 2014-2023 period.
H.R. 2463 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
H.R. 2463 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 those 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 ($150 million in 2013, adjusted annually for inflation).