May 30, 2023

Outdoor Coalition Meets with Legislative Leaders in Oregon on Proposed Firearm Restrictions

Article Contact: Keely Hopkins,

Why It Matters: Oregon’s law-abiding hunters and shooters have long played a vital role in funding conservation and wildlife management efforts throughout the state. Under the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF), a unique “user pays-public benefits” structure, Oregon’s sportsmen and women generate tens of millions of dollars each year for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. These funds are generated through license sales and a 10-11% federal excise tax on sporting-related goods, including firearm purchases. If implemented, House Bill 2005, and similar firearm related bills being considered this session, would impact conservation funding in the state by decreasing the tax revenue available for wildlife management and conservation.

Highlights:

  • On May 16, representatives from the outdoor conservation community in Oregon traveled to the State Capitol to meet with legislative leaders on House Bill 2005, a bill that would restrict access to firearms for youth hunting and shooting sports.
  • HB 2005 contains a myriad of new firearm regulations, including provisions to prevent minors from accessing certain commonly owned firearms, even when fully trained in gun safety, supervised by trained adults, or participating in lawful and permitted hunting or sport shooting events.
  • The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), Ducks Unlimited, the Oregon State Shooting Association, Oregon State High School Clay Target League, and Newberg High School Trap Shooting team spent the day meeting with legislators to share the impact the bill would have on outdoors traditions and conservation funding in Oregon.

Citing concerns for youth hunting, high school shooting sports and conservation funding, representatives from the outdoor conservation community in Oregon traveled to the State Capitol on May 16 to meet with legislative leaders on the significant impacts that House Bill 2005 would have if passed.

HB 2005, as currently drafted, contains a myriad of new firearm regulations, and specifically threatens youth hunting and high school trap shooting sports by preventing minors from accessing certain commonly owned firearms, even when fully trained in gun safety, supervised by trained adults, or participating in lawful and permitted hunting or sport shooting events. The legislation provides a short list of firearms that minors can possess for hunting or target shooting but fails to include key firearms that are relied upon by the hunting and sport shooting community.

In addition to restricting access to these firearms for our time-honored traditions, the proposed legislation also creates additional barriers to entry for youth and families hunting in Oregon. This will likely result in fewer new hunters enjoying this outdoor family activity and will diminish the positive impacts that hunting has on Oregon’s fish and wildlife habitats and its beneficial societal effects. Sportsmen and women, both in Oregon and throughout the nation, have been the primary funders of state level conservation for more than 85 years. Through the American System of Conservation Funding, a ‘user pays – public benefits’ program, hunting license fees go directly back into conservation by the state to protect lands, waters, and habitats important to Oregon’s wildlife. This System includes, the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, which is a dedicated excise tax on firearms and ammunition that contributes millions of dollars each year directly into state conservation efforts.

To help raise these concerns to legislative leaders, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and Ducks Unlimited organized meetings with key legislators at the Oregon State Capitol on May 16, shortly after HB 2005 moved to the Senate chamber. CSF’s Pacific Region Manager Keely Hopkins and DU’s Director of Public Policy Matt Little were joined by Oregon State Shooting Association President Kerry Spurgin, USA High School Clay Target League Oregon Director Melissa Craig, Newberg High School Trapshooting Coach Daniel Craig, and Newberg High School Trapshooting Team Captain Wyatt Schliesleder.

CSF has been actively opposing HB 2005 and similar firearm related legislation since the session began in January, and along with fellow coalition members, has provided input to the legislature through written testimony and a press release. opposing the new youth hunting restrictions include the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, Fur Takers of America, Oregon Association of Shooting Ranges, Oregon Bowhunters, Oregon Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation, Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon State Shooting Association, Oregon Trappers Association, Oregon United Sporting Dog Association, Oregon Wild Sheep Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International, and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

States Involved:

View All news

Back TO All

In Season

STAY CURRENT

Stay current with the latest news, policy activity and how to get involved.

Sign up for Newsletters

SUPPORT CSF

Donate today so we can keep fighting for tomorrow!

Donate Now