Contact: Joe Mullin, Assistant Manager, Northeastern States and States Program Assistant
On May 7, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Assistant Manager, Northeastern States, Joseph Mullin, testified before the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee in support of House Bill 307. As previously reported, this legislation would strengthen the state’s preemption over the local regulation of firearms, ammunition, ammunition components, knives, and firearms components and accessories. Prior to the public hearing, Mullin also submitted a letter of support. CSF will continue to engage on this issue as opportunities arise.
CSF’s Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator, Nick Lewis, submitted a letter of support for Senate Bill 3263 – legislation that would increase the annual fee for the New Jersey Waterfowl Stamp (which has not had a price increase since 1996 and is presently lagging behind inflation) by $5 for both resident and nonresident hunters. The Senate Committee on Environment and Energy ultimately voted 3-1 in favor of the bill. CSF will provide further updates on the status of this bill as they become available.
In the Empire State, CSF and the New York Sportsmen’s Advisory Council (NYSAC) have been opposing a wave of anti-sportsmen’s efforts. NYSAC is a supportive entity for the New York Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus which CSF established in 2012 and maintains an active presence as an ex officio member and liaison between the two entities. Together, both CSF and NYSAC have engaged in fighting the following policies:
- Foothold Trap Ban – Assembly Bill 3467 and Senate Bill 4459
These two companion bills propose to ban the use of foothold traps, thus limiting the availability of trapping devices used by professional wildlife managers and sportsmen and women. NYSAC issued a letter of opposition to the relevant committees, opposing both anti-sportsmen’s bills, which are awaiting public hearings.
- Lead Ammunition Ban – Assembly Bill 5728 and Senate Bill 5058
NYSAC issued a letter of opposition that opposed both attempts to prohibit the use of lead ammunition while hunting on state-owned lands and the land area contributing surface water to the New York City water supply. Earlier this year, CSF submitted a letter of opposition to Senate Bill 5058, encouraging the Committee to swiftly reject this restrictive legislation.
- State Fish and Wildlife Management Authority – Senate Bill 6510
NYSAC submitted a letter of opposition to S. 6510 – legislation that would usurp the authority of the Division of Fish and Wildlife by allowing counties and municipalities to opt out of a prescribed hunting season. CSF is closely monitoring this anti-sportsmen’s legislation and will provide additional details as they are made available.
- Trophy Import Ban – Assembly Bill 716 and Senate Bill 2814
CSF’s Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator, Nick Lewis, submitted written testimony (Assembly letter, Senate letter) to the relevant committees in opposition to both bills which would prohibit the import, sale, and possession of items from legally hunted African species. Additionally, NYSAC sent a letter to the New York Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, requesting the Caucus’ support in working to defeat both bills.
On May 10, Senate Bill 243, legislation co-sponsored by several Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs, was read for a second time before the Senate and referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations. CSF signed onto a letter of support for this bill, which would authorize non-profit and charitable organizations to conduct online raffles and drawings – an important step in securing financial stability for many sportsmen’s organizations that lost out on the ability to host in-person events during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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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?Vote Here
- Increase the number of states with discounted license tailored to specific groups. (5.20%)
- Increase access to public lands. (24.83%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (4.10%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (13.23%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (43.00%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (9.64%)