March 9, 2020

New York: ACTION ALERT – Hunting Contest and Lead Ammo Ban Scheduled for Floor Action this Week

Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States & States Program Administrator

Two anti-hunting bills have been scheduled for floor action in the New York Senate and Assembly on Tuesday, March 10. New York sportsmen and women are encouraged to contact their legislators immediately, and respectfully voice their opposition to Senate Bill 7542 (SB 7542), and Assembly Bill 703 (AB 703).

SB 7542 – Hunting Contest Prohibition

Sponsored by Senator Martinez, SB 7542 would prohibit all hunting contests and tournaments for small game, wild birds (other than wild turkeys) and domestic game birds for prizes or for entertainment. This prohibition would encompass formally organized events as well as friendly wagers between sportsmen and women over who will have the best day afield when pursuing squirrels, rabbits, and grouse, to name a few. Any such contest that is presently conducted is done in accordance to the laws and regulations proscribed in law by the legislature and through regulations by the Division of Fish and Wildlife. These competitive events foster a heightened level of comradery and affability amongst the participants, and offer the ability to challenge one another in a regulated environment, spurring a determination that often leads to lifetime memories and newly built relationships. Should this bill be enacted, anyone engaging in such a contest (even a friendly wager at hunting camp) would be subject to up to a year in jail, and a fine of not less than $500, or both.

AB 703 – Prohibition on the use of Lead Ammunition for Hunting

Sponsored by Assembly Member Glick, AB 703 would statutorily prohibit the use of lead ammunition for hunting on state-owned land throughout the state, regardless of species or season. This prohibition would also include any hunting that is done on state wildlife management areas, which are paid for, in part, by an excise tax on the sale of ammunition through the “user-pays, public-benefits” American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF). Statutorily prohibiting the use of ammunition containing lead will significantly increase the cost for sportsmen and women, and adding an additional barrier to participation will potentially impact both hunting license sales, as well and future excise taxes through the ASCF. As well, this legislation has socio-economic implications in that it targets those individuals who rely on public land for hunting, while those fortunate enough to own their own hunting grounds will be unaffected.

Please contact your legislators IMMEDIATELY on these two pieces of legislation, and encourage them to oppose them. Both bills are scheduled for action on Tuesday, March 10 – SB 7542 for second consideration and AB 703 for third (final) reading before the floor vote. Contact information for Senators can be found here and contact information for the Assembly Members, 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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