August 21, 2014

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: Anti-Sportsman Legislation Awaiting Vote in California

In June, the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee voted to pass SB 53, anti-sportsman legislation that would establish a new government-run permitting system to regulate the purchase and sale of ammunition in the state. Now, SB 53 has moved to the Assembly Floor where it could be called up for a vote at any time.

If passed, SB 53 would require virtually anyone wishing to obtain ammo used for any purpose, even hunting and target shooting, to undergo a background check and obtain approval from the State of California. SB 53 would create a state-run database of individuals approved to purchase ammunition and authorize the California Department of Justice to create an ammunition purchase permit program requiring law abiding citizens to register and pay a fee every two years, simply for acquiring common items like shotgun shells or rifle ammo. Furthermore, SB 53 would harm small businesses and limit consumer choice by banning mail-order and internet ammunition transactions in California.

Wildlife could also suffer unintended consequences if SB 53 is signed into law. By unnecessarily making it more difficult and expensive for California’s sportsmen and women to enjoy hunting and recreational shooting, SB 53 represents a direct threat to the American System of Conservation Funding. As a component of this system, revenue generated from dedicated taxes on ammunition is used to support state wildlife conservation agencies such as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. In addition to interfering with access to and continuation of our outdoor traditions, SB 53 could ultimately result in less funding for the management of the Golden State’s public wildlife resources.

To voice your opposition to SB 53, please contact your representatives in Sacramento and tell them that you oppose this effort to restrict law abiding citizens’ access to ammunition. To look up your members of the Legislature, click here.

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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