Contacts: Midwestern States Senior Director Chris Horton, Upper Midwestern States Manager Nick Buggia, and Lower Midwestern States Coordinator Kent Keene
Coming off a challenging year for all, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) is excited for the opportunities that await in 2021. With several states gaveled in for the 2021 legislative session, members of CSF’s Midwest States Program Team are hard at work tracking bills and working with state sportsmen’s caucuses in support of hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and trapping. While many more legislative priorities will arise as more legislatures begin their 2021 sessions, the following bills are just a few of those introduced thus far:
Indiana Senate Bill 49, sponsored by Indiana Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Senator James Tomes, is a version of the Firearms Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act, that would protect manufacturers of firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition; retailers selling firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition; distributors of firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition; shooting ranges; and trade associations from discrimination by financial and government institutions.
Missouri HB369 and SB301:
As previously reported, House Bill 369 and Senate Bill 301 seek to define liability standards for landowners and certified prescribed burn managers using prescribed fire on private properties. Defining liability standards would alleviate the concerns shared by many landowners who are hesitant to employ prescribed fire on their properties, which can have substantial benefits for wildlife.
Missouri HJR23, SJR3, and SJR16:
Missouri House Resolution 23 and Senate Resolutions 3 & 16 propose an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would affirm and protect the rights of Missourians to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife. If passed, these proposed amendments would then be placed on the November 2022 ballot for ratification by Missouri’s voters.
North Dakota SB2036, SB2037 and SB2038:
This package of bills would continue the interim study of access to public and private lands for hunting, trapping, fishing, and related issues. It would also evaluate the recently developed electronic land access database and expand the database and application to all counties in the state. Finally, the bill also defines penalties for violators.
Again, this list is simply a preview of legislation that CSF will be engaging on throughout 2021 in the midwest. Stay tuned to future editions of The Sportsmen’s Voice for updates on these issues and more.
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?