Contact: Clay Chester, Southeastern States Coordinator
On August 5, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Brian Kemp signed legislation into law that extends the sunset date for the use of airguns to July 1, 2025.
Sponsored by Georgia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Representative Trey Rhodes, House Bill 998 authorizes airguns as legal weapons for hunting big game only during primitive weapon hunts, primitive weapon seasons, and firearm seasons. If the bill was not signed into law, airguns would not have been legal weapons for hunting this fall.
Airguns are defined in statute as any pistol, handgun, or shoulder-held device, each of not less than 0.30 caliber, or airbow that propels a projectile in the form of a slug, shot, or arrow equipped with a broadhead utilizing unignited compressed air or gas.
Since airguns do not contribute to the American System of Conservation Funding, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) supports a Conservation Airgun Stamp or state-level conservation funding mechanism to ensure that hunters using airguns contribute equitably to conservation funding. In July, CSF advocated for a Conservation Airgun Stamp in Alabama.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?