Contact Aoibheann Cline, Western States Coordinator
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) took action on eight sportsmen’s bills heard in the California Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees last week, giving a voice to the state’s 1.82 million hunters and anglers.
- In the Assembly Appropriations Committee, CSF opposed AB 18, which seeks to impose an additional excise tax on the sale of handguns, rifles and shotguns to fund a crime prevention program. While CSF supports safe and responsible firearms use, AB 18 would task the law-abiding hunters and recreational shooters in California with completely funding a program seeking to address the unlawful use of firearms - a task that should be placed on California as a whole. AB 18 did not pass out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
- CSF supported AB 284, proposed by current member and former Caucus Co-Chair Jim Frazier, which would indefinitely extend the youth hunting license age from 15 to 17, providing more opportunities and less financial barriers for youth to participate in hunting sports. Unfortunately, AB 284 failed to pass out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
- CSF opposed AB 688 which would impose overly burdensome and impractical requirements on law abiding hunters and recreational shooters transporting their shotguns and rifles to the field or range. AB 688 did not pass out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
- CSF opposed AB 1254, a bill which seeks to ban bobcat hunting completely. Following opposition by CSF and other sporting conservation organizations, the bill was amended to pause the opening of a bobcat season until 2025 and call on the Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop a bobcat management plan based on best scientific principles. AB 1254 passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on a party line vote.
- CSF supported AB 1387, which would transition California into a 365-day fishing license state and require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to accept electronic versions of fishing licenses. AB 1387 would increase fishing participation by giving anglers more days on the water and make fishing more convenient for anglers by allowing them to display their license via an app on their cell phone. AB 1387 passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
- In the Senate Appropriations Committee, CSF opposed SB 220, which placed unduly burdensome storage requirements on firearms dealers. In previous attempts, former Governor Jerry Brown had vetoed a similar bill stating, “I believe local authorities are in the best position to determine what, if any additional measures are needed in their jurisdictions,” in reference to the requirements of bills similar to SB 220. SB 220 passed the Senate and is headed to the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.
- CSF supported SB 395, which would allow for the recovery of wild game meat following an accidental vehicle collision and require reporting of the collision to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. This reporting will assist the Department with compilation of data for wildlife corridors, in compliance with federal law. Wildlife corridors are crucial to protecting big game herds crossing California roadways on their seasonal migration paths and increase traffic safety by reducing the number of vehicle-animal collisions. SB 395 passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously.
- CSF also supported SB 474 which would extend the Habitat Conservation Fund for another 30 years, providing an additional $30 million dollars annually for the acquisition, restoration and enhancement of habitat necessary for the protection of wildlife populations. SB 474 passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously.
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (13.75%)
- Enact or expand temporary hunter education deferral programs (apprentice license programs, multiyear options, programs for all first-time hunters regardless of age, and programs promoting hunting of multiple game species). (11.25%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (61.25%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (13.75%)