Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is one of those Senate Democrats who is expected to be at serious risk for losing here seat in 2014. Indeed, Moe Lane of Redstate.Com said on her chances, "Kay Hagan is likewise well-advised to start planning for her retirement." When Hagan was first elected in 2008 she rode the coattails of Barack Obama to the Senate. Fast forward four years and North Carolina is solidly a red state again.
It was against this backdrop that I read the announcement from Hagan's office that she has been named a co-chair of the Congressional Sportsman's Caucus.
Working to Support North Carolina's Sportsmen and WomenGiven that Sen. Hagan is now the Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsman's Caucus, there are a number of bills that I think she should be supporting or sponsoring on topics like shooting ranges, the EPA and lead, and the like. Conversely, I think if she wants to get re-elected she needs to realize that sportsmen and women care about the Second Amendment and encroachments upon it. One needs only look at the blowback that Reed Exhibitions has gotten from hunters over their decision to ban modern sporting rifles at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show to see this confirmed. I hope she and her staff are listening.
This week I announced that I have been named Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, which includes more than 300 members of Congress from all 50 states. After serving as Vice-Chair since January 2011, I'm proud to become the Co-Chair with my colleague from South Dakota,Republican Senator John Thune.
The Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus was established in 1989 and works to protect the interests of America's hunters, anglers and trappers. Approximately 1.4 million sportsmen call North Carolina home, and hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing are economic drivers in our state.
In fact, the Outdoor Industry Association found that outdoor recreation contributes more than $7.5 billion annually to North Carolina's economy, supports 95,000 jobs across in the state, generates $430 million in annual state tax revenue, and produces $6.1 billion annually in retail sales and services across North Carolina.
It's evident that North Carolina is among the best places to hunt and fish in the country, and I'm honored to continue working to protect our rich outdoor heritage in my leadership role with the Sportsmen's Caucus. I grew up in a family of lifelong hunters, and some of my favorite activities are hiking and fishing with my family across our state.
I'm excited to co-chair the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides the aisle to advance policies important to sportsmen and women.