Cumberland Times-News

Local News

October 27, 2013

Maryland wildlife agency benefits from firearms, ammunition sales

CUMBERLAND — The Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service will receive about 1 million federal dollars derived from an excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition, according to Director Paul Peditto.

Record firearms sales took place in Maryland during the first nine months of the year as residents lined up to buy handguns and military style rifles. On Oct. 1, a state law made handgun purchasing more difficult and prohibited certain rifles.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services considers the physical size of a state and the number of licensed hunters when allocating the funds obtained via an 11 percent excise tax on guns and ammo.

“That amount of funding means a 10 percent bump in our total budget,” Peditto said. “The bad news is that all it will do for us is allow us to avoid bouncing checks in the future. It will make up a gap created when we burned our reserve during the past couple years.”

The agency, a part of the Department of Natural Re-sources, has cut staff and operations in recent years because of fiscal difficulties.

Attempts in 2012 and 2013 to increase the cost of hunting licenses for the first time in 20 years failed at the General Assembly.

Peditto said he doesn’t know of a state senator or delegate willing to introduce such a bill in the upcoming session.

The federal funding is available because of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act enacted in the 1930s.

“This is the hunters’ money and we will use it for hunting programs,” Peditto said. “We have plans to amp up efforts to recruit and retain young hunters and female hunters.”

Programs such as Junior Hunter Field Days and Becoming an Outdoor Woman will be expanded, according to Peditto.

Efforts will be made as well to keep senior hunters afield.

Peditto expects some new programs to be operating in six to nine months that will broaden the horizons of those who already hunt.

“If there is someone who has only been a waterfowl hunter, we’ll give them the chance to learn more about strategies and tools used to become an effective turkey hunter or deer hunter,” he said. “Someone who has been solely a bowhunter for deer can learn techniques to make a muzzleloader more accurate and effective or how to sight in a scope.

“Staff time will be involved, of course, but cash from the federal funds will be used for things such as purchasing pheasants to stock.”

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at

Text Only
Local News
  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fourmile Ridge wind project approved, moves forward

    The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.

    April 17, 2014

  • Oakland back to normal after toppled tanker closes business district

    The town of Oakland returned to normal activities Thursday, one day after a tanker full of liquid propane overturned in the heart of the business district.
    Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday the toppled tanker was removed and its 10,000-gallon load transferred to another tanker.

    April 17, 2014

  • Students back Southern Middle School renovation

    Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Trial run Trial run

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

    Friday, April 18, has another special meaning for me besides Good Friday.
    April 18, 1942, proved to be a pivotal day for American morale, following the deadly air attack and destruction conceived and executed by Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lara Courrier seeks re-appointment to Mineral school board

    I, Lara Courrier, am seeking re-election to the Mineral County Board of Education to continue the work I’ve done the last four years. Having served as a school counselor at the Burlington Center School and the Chick Buckbee Juvenile Center for nearly six years, as well as approximately 20 years total working with children, I have insight into the needs of kids and the importance of the actions of the school board. Having three sons and several nieces and nephews in Mineral County schools, I have an added incentive to continue to work hard to ensure the efficient running of our school system. 

    April 17, 2014