Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Senior Coordinator
On March 4, the Connecticut Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus gathered in Hartford, CT for a discussion on the upcoming Caucus Game-Meat Tasting Reception, and to review several priority sportsmen-related bills – primarily House Bill 5040, An Act Establishing an Excise Tax on Ammunition. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) attended the Caucus’ meeting and was joined by several in-state and national conservation organizations.
With the window closing on the Caucus Game-Meat Tasting Reception, the conversation was brief, but inspiring. The Co-Chairs expressed their excitement for the event, and their eagerness to try new game-meat recipes while meeting with the various sportsmen’s clubs that will be in attendance.
The conversation then transitioned into HB 5040, a bill that would establish a 35% excise tax on ammunition and direct it towards gun violence prevention and reduction efforts. Presenting on this bill was the bill sponsor herself and Jake McGuigan, Managing Director of State Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The Caucus had the opportunity to hear directly from the bill sponsor as to her ambitions with the bill, granting them the ability to engage with her on how detrimental a 35% excise tax on ammunition would be to the State’s sportsmen and community as a whole. In conjunction with this conversation, McGuigan then provided a presentation on the ways in which the revenue from the Pittman-Robertson Act’s already existing 11% excise tax on ammunition (a key component of the American System of Conservation Funding) is dedicated to fish and wildlife departments, such as Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, towards numerous conservation initiatives which benefit all citizens of the state.
Following this exchange, the Caucus proceeded into a discussion on sportsmen-related legislation, including: the authorization of blaze pink clothing for hunting; a prohibition on the import, sale and possession of African elephants, lions, leopards, and black and white rhinoceros; and an ivory ban. The floor was open to conversation, inviting opinions on all issues before finally adjourning.
CSF looks forward to another successful Caucus Game-Meat Tasting Reception, as well as working alongside the Caucus to protect and advance Connecticut’s hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and trapping communities.
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?