July 6, 2020

Florida: Hunter Harassment Legislation Signed Into Law

Contact: Clay Chester, Southeastern States Coordinator

On June 29, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1414 into law. The legislation, sponsored by Florida Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus) member Senator Debbie Mayfield, will expand the statute prohibiting the harassment of hunters, anglers and trappers by extending protections to sportsmen and women on public lands and waters.

Enhanced harassment protections for hunters, anglers and trappers will help ensure that Florida’s 3,152,000 sportsmen and women can pursue their pastimes which, in 2019, contributed more than $70 million to state-based conservation in Florida through the American System of Conservation Funding.

Additionally, the legislation adds the green iguana (Iguana iguana) and the Teguna lizard (any species of the genera Salvator or Tupinambis) to the list of exotic invasive species that are prohibited for possession, importation, sale, barter, trade, or breeding.

Caucus member Representative Tommy Gregory sponsored the companion legislation, House Bill 777.

“The hunter harassment legislation will further strengthen the ability for Florida’s sportsmen and women to participate in the time honored traditions of hunting and fishing. I am proud to have played a role in the passage of this legislation,” said Representative Gregory.

The law took effect on July 1, 2020. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation would like to thank the Caucus and other in-state partners for their work advancing this legislation.

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?

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