TALLAHASSEE — On Aug. 1, Governor Ron DeSantis issued a proclamation dedicating August 2023 as National Shooting Sports Month for the State of Florida. We are grateful for his recognition of hunters and target shooters as vital contributors to conservation.
WHEREAS, hunting, firearms, and shooting sports are part of the history, tradition, and culture of Florida; and
WHEREAS, increasing access to education and shooting sports provides opportunities to safely learn to shoot and to responsibly increase public participation in shooting sports and hunting; and
WHEREAS, sport shooting and training ranges are widely used and enjoyed by Floridians across the state and are a component of the guarantees of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, Theodore Roosevelt and his fellow founding members of his hunting and habitat conservation club wrote in their 1887 founding charter that shooting sports “promote manly sport with the rifle,” “promote travel and exploration in the wild and unknown…portions of the country,” and encourage “preservation of the large game of this country;” and
WHEREAS, Governor DeSantis has delivered on preserving Florida’s natural resources by securing more than $600 million for the preservation of land through the Florida Forever Program, conserving nearly 175,000 acres of habitat for native fauna to thrive; and
WHEREAS, Governor DeSantis signed legislation in 2023 to provide constitutional carry in Florida; and
WHEREAS, Florida’s sportsmen and women were among the first conservationists to support the establishment of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to conserve fish, wildlife, and their habitat, and help fund state efforts to provide healthy and sustainable natural resources; and
WHEREAS, World Champion shooter Dania Vizzi stated, “As a professional shooter I am not only proud, but fortunate to live in Florida where my rights are protected as both an athlete and a hunter. With these freedoms, I’ve been able to become a World Champion and bring home multiple World Cup medals while representing the United States of America and the Great State of Florida;” and
WHEREAS, FWC hunter education courses cover the knowledge, skills, and attitude needed to be a safe hunter, and offer opportunities to safely learn to shoot and to responsibly increase public participation in shooting sports and hunting; and
WHEREAS, the FWC is committed to safely supporting the needs of recreational target shooters, hunters, and hunter safety students, and manages 11 shooting ranges across the state; and
WHEREAS, sportsmen and hunters teach others to understand the responsibilities of owning and using a firearm, while also working to ensure that our natural resources are safeguarded.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ron DeSantis, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby extend greetings and best wishes to all observing August 2023 as Shooting Sports Month.