Why It Matters: As state legislatures continue to consider a variety of legislation across the nation, CSF remains engaged to protect and advance our outdoor sporting traditions. Recently, such engagement ranges from supporting efforts to promote the safe and responsible handling of firearms and participation in hunter education courses, to protecting the management authority and financial stability of state fish and wildlife agencies and their reliance on sportsmen and women in the governance of wildlife populations.
- In Kansas and Iowa, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted testimony in support of bills that would standardize a firearm safety curriculum, which includes hunter education, for public school districts in each state.
- In Nebraska, CSF also weighed in on a bill that would require the state agency to reimburse landowners for damage caused by wild elk and a bill seeking to create a bounty season for many of Nebraska’s furbearers.
- Elsewhere in the region, CSF remains engaged tracking legislation related to our time-honored outdoor traditions.
Last week, CSF had the opportunity to engage on a variety of bills across the Lower Midwest in support of our mission to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping. In addition to our daily efforts to support the state caucuses that make up the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, below is a snapshot of some of the efforts that CSF made across the region.
Iowa House File 73 and Kansas Senate Bill 116 – These bills seek to standardize a firearm safety education curriculum for public schools based on the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe program for younger students and hunter education for middle and high school students. Ahead of scheduled committee hearings in both Iowa and Kansas, CSF submitted testimony in support, particularly highlighting the potential for such education to assist in the recruitment of the next generation of sportsmen and sportswomen.
Nebraska Legislative Bill 400 – Dubbed the Nebraska Pheasant Restoration Act, LB 400 is a well-intentioned but misguided bill that seeks to create a bounty harvest season for many furbearers considered to be pheasant nest predators while requiring the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) to pay the bounties associated with the special season. In response, CSF submitted a letter of opposition to members of the Natural Resources Committee maintaining support for NGPC’s management authority, existing furbearer hunting and trapping seasons, and increased support for voluntary conservation efforts on private lands in support of the state’s pheasant populations.
Nebraska Legislative Bill 456 – Finally, LB 456 would require NGPC to investigate claims and provide financial compensation for damage caused by elk and mountain lions on private lands. As CSF did last year in response to a similar wildlife damage compensation bill, a letter of opposition to LB 456 was submitted to members of the Natural Resources Committee.
While the subcommittee meeting for IA HF 73 was canceled, all other bills were heard in their respective committees. Following these hearings, KS SB 116 was recommended favorably by the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs on February 9th while NE LBs 400 and 456 await further committee action.