The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

January 29, 2014

Readers' Forum 1-29 | Join a club; keep shooting sports alive

JOHNSTOWN — There are at least 20.2 million target shooters in America who drive an economic engine valued at $9.9 billion – yes, billion – dollars. With this being more than the National Football League’s annual revenue – it’s worth a look.

A report just released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and based on 2011 data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Treasury Department, shows how Pennsylvania ranked.

There are an estimated 985,513 target shooters in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania target-shooting related spending contributed $824,589,274 to the Pennsylvania economy, supporting 7,871 jobs. This includes $66,745,247 in local and state taxes and $70,582,269 in federal taxes.

Nationally, Pennsylvania is ranked third only to California and Texas in the number of shooters and total spending. However, Pennsylvania is No. 1 with the highest percentage of target shooters to its total population at 7.8 percent, which beats Texas (No. 2) by about 15 percent.

Hunter numbers are separate and not included in this data. Add the hunters and, nationally, there are 33.8 million target shooters and hunters who spent $48.2 billion dollars, generating $15.2 billion tax dollars.

Hunters spend more than target shooters, except for the equipment category, which is almost equal.

If a person has to travel more than 30 minutes to a shooting range, participation drops significantly.

Join a local sportsmen’s club and support this great effort that keeps the shooting sports healthy.

Robb Piper

Secretary, Cambria County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs Inc.

Emission testing is a rip-off

I write this to everybody who pays for an emission test on their vehicle.

I contacted Sen. John Wozniak’s office recently to find out what is happening to the bill he introduced to end this practice.

I was told the bill was being held up in a committee.

You’re not going to believe what I found out. This has nothing to do with the garages where you get your car inspected. But it does have a lot to do with the federal government. It is the reason for the holdup. Why, you ask? It all comes down to money.

Everybody who has bought a new vehicle that no longer has a gas cap is being ripped off. How? The garage has to test your gas cap to meet the standards to pass the emission test. But, your new vehicle doesn’t have a gas cap, so the garages use a gas cap they have and we are paying for a fake test. In other words, we are being ripped off.

This is taking our money under false pretense. We are paying for something we’re not getting. We need to contact our congressman and senators at the federal and state governments and complain.

Only older cars need this test, not the new ones. If you like paying for the emission test, then don’t speak up. But the rest of us need to speak up and stop this.

Homer Mattes

Johnstown

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