G&A Special Report – CA State Legislature – 2017/2018 Session

This Gaines & Associates “California State Legislature – 2017/2018 Session Update” will provide a summary and the status of all legislation of interest to California’s wildlife and conservation community. Any activity taking place on legislation since our last Special Report is noted in italics.

Gaines & Associates recognizes that our Special Reports can lengthy and often provide information on more bills than many believe necessary. However, this reporting is done for the sole benefit of our clients who have varying conservation and wildlife interests and concerns. The extensive list of bills covered is to ensure that all our clients get the sufficient detail they need on the legislation that is of greatest importance to them.

This Gaines & Associates “California State Legislature – 2017/2018 Session Update” is client privileged and provided as a service to Gaines & Associates clients.

Bills are placed in numerical order, not in order of priority or interest.

For more information on any of the below bills, please contact Gaines & Associates at [email protected]

2017/2018 State Legislative Session

Current law prohibits, with some exceptions, openly carrying a handgun or a long gun outside a vehicle while in a public place or on a public street of an incorporated city or city and county, or while in an “prohibited area” where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm. As amended on March 28th, AB 7 – legislation by Assembly Member Mike Gipson (D/64-Carson) – would extend that law to also make it illegal to carry an unloaded long gun in a public “prohibited area” of an unincorporated area of a county.

AB 1527 (Portantino), which passed in 2012, banned openly carrying long guns in incorporated areas – but the legislation did not include unincorporated areas because it was known that people were more likely to be carrying long guns in those areas for sporting or ranching purposes. Proponents of AB 7 argue there are areas within urban areas which are unincorporated – including large unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County that are surrounded by incorporated areas. The intent of AB 7 is to also ban long guns in these areas, referred to as “doughnut holes”.

AB 7 was heard in Assembly Public Safety Committee on March 21st, passing out on a 5 to 2 partisan vote. The bill was then heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 5th, passing out on an 11 to 6 vote. AB 7 passed off the Assembly Floor on April 20th by a 44 to 29 vote, with seven Assembly Members not voting.  The bill has now moved over to the Senate side, where it will first be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee, but has yet to be scheduled.

To view the Assembly Public Safety Committee, Assembly Appropriations Committee, or Assembly Floor analyses of AB 7, click AB 7 Assy Analyses

To view all the other information available on AB 7, click AB 7 Gipson

Proposition 117, approved by the California public on June 1990 ballot, enacted “The California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990”, which established that the mountain lion as a specially protected species.  Although the Act made it illegal to hunt mountain lions, it did authorize a person whose livestock or property is being damaged or destroyed by a lion to request a depredation permit from the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).

Further, the Act requires that DFW issue the permit if the reported damage is confirmed. As introduced, AB 8 – legislation by Assembly Member Richard Bloom (D/50-Santa Monica) – would change the language of the Act to simply “authorize” DFW to issue the permit, rather than “require” them to.

“The California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990” prohibits the Legislature from changing the language the Act except by a 4/5 vote of the membership of both the Assembly and the Senate.

The bill was set for its first hearing in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee in late March, but the hearing was canceled at the request of the author. The bill was then reset to be heard in Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on April 25th, but was again pulled from agenda by the author. Assembly Member Bloom is now planning on trying to address his concerns by working with the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and stakeholders to agree upon an administrative solution.

To view the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee analysis of AB 8, click AB 8 Assy WPW Analysis

To view all the information available on AB 8, click AB 8 Detail

As amended March 28th, AB 472 – legislation authored by Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D/11-Oakley) – would promote wildlife habitat and waterfowl nesting cover on fallowed agricultural lands by strengthening current state policy to encourage non- irrigated cover crops and other natural vegetation on fallowed lands involved with water transfers, so long as the water transfer requirements are met.

Currently, regardless of existing state policy to encourage non-irrigated crops or vegetation on idled lands to provide wildlife habitat, landowners are under pressure from the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to remove all non-irrigated vegetative cover on lands involved with water transfers in order to not impact water available for transfer. AB 472 would help ensure that any requirement by DWR to remove or manipulate that cover is based on scientific data, and accomplished in a way that minimizes impacts to wildlife.

AB 472 would also require DFW to establish an incentive program for landowners who are willing to maintain wildlife cover on fallowed lands, including those involved with a water transfer. The program may provide direct payments to private landowners using available federal funds, state or federal grants, and/or private grants and donations.

AB 472 was heard in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on April 4th, passing out on a 13 to 0 bipartisan vote. AB 472 was then briefly heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 26th and quickly placed in the suspense file. The bill must be pulled off suspense and heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee by May 26th  to remain viable in 2017.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee analysis of AB 472 estimates the recurring cost to Department of Water Resources to be approximately $200,000 annually. In addition, the analysis states that the cost to fund the proposed landowner incentive program could be “likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars”. However, allocation of these funds is not part of this proposal and could come from a variety of sources in the future – including federal dollars.

To view the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee analyses of AB 472, click AB 472 Assy Analyses

To view all the information available on AB 472, click AB 472 Detail

To view the coalition letter in support of AB 472, click AB 472 Coalition Support

Current law requires every person 16 years of age or older who takes any fish, reptile, or amphibian to obtain a sport fishing license.  As amended March 21st, AB 478 – legislation by Assembly Member Marie Waldron (R/75-Escondido) – would raise the age at which a person is required to purchase a sport fishing license from 16 to 18 years of age or older.

California has suffered a significant decline in the sale of recreational fishing licenses. Part of the decline is attributed to fewer youth choosing to fish as a form of outdoor recreation due to the high cost of licenses. By raising the age requirement for fishing licenses to 18 years old, AB 478 would help get more youth and families involved in fishing by allowing minors to fish for free for an additional two years.

AB 478 was heard in Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on March 21st, passing out on a unanimous 13 to 0 vote. The bill was then brought up briefly in Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 5th, and immediately placed in the “suspense” file due to the bill’s possible fiscal impact to DFW. The bill must be pulled off suspense and heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee by May 26th to remain viable in 2017.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee analysis of AB 478 claims that raising the age at which a person is required to purchase a fishing license from 16 to 18 years old would reduce revenues to the DFW Fish and Game Preservation Fund by $1.55 million annually. In addition, the analysis states that the reduction in license sale revenue could also result in a reduction in future federal revenue to California from the Sport Fish Restoration Act. In 2016, California received $18,053,855 in federal Sport Fish Restoration Act funds, the maximum 5% allowed.

To view the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee analyses of AB 478, click AB 478 Assy Analyses

To view all the information available on AB 478, click AB 478 Detail

As amended April 24th, AB 521 – legislation authored by Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D/11-Oakley) – would reduce the fee for a California resident elk tag from over $400 to

$67, and allow it to be adjusted pursuant to an analysis of what the appropriate fee should be and a recommendation to the Legislature or the Fish and Game Commission that the fee be adjusted.  The bill does not specify which entity would be tasked with performing the analysis and making that recommendation, or when the analysis would have to be completed.

AB 521 was heard in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on April 4th, passing out on a 12 to 1 vote. The bill was then heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 3rd, passing out on a 13 to 1 vote. The bill is now headed to the Assembly Floor where it must be voted off by June 2nd  to remain viable in 2017.

Additional amendments to AB 521 were agreed to in Assembly Appropriations Committee and will show up in the bill shortly. These amendments include a six year “sunset” provision to require the Legislature to review the revenue impact to the DFW Big Game Management Account (BGMA) over the first five years of the reduced fee, and to allow for necessary adjustments in the fee to address any unreasonable shortfall in the account.

The intent of AB 521 is to make elk hunting more available to California’s public by substantially lowering the cost of the tag. The Assembly Appropriations Committee analysis of the bill places the annual recurring impact to DFW’s BGMA at $120,000. Proponents of the bill argue that the loss to the BGMA will be largely offset by the notable increase in the number of applications for elk tags due to the lower cost of the tag to those who get drawn. However, monies derived from application sales are not earmarked for the BGMA, rather general DFW responsibilities. Revenues placed in the BGMA are dedicated to research and habitat projects which benefit big game species.

To view the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee analyses of AB 521, click AB 521 Assy Analyses

To view all the information available on AB 521, click AB 521 Detail

As amended on March 23rd, AB 573 – legislation by Assembly Member Frank Bigelow (R/05-O’Neals) – remains a “spot bill” introduced to provide a vehicle for language currently being developed by the Fish and Game Commission, in concert with DFW and interested stakeholders. The overall intent of the bill is to make it easier for landowners and the state to control wild exotic pigs and the extensive damage they do to public and private lands.

Similar legislation introduced in the past by Assembly Member Bigelow has considered such things as eliminating the need for landowners to obtain a depredation permit to take pigs doing damage to their property, eliminating the one tag/pig requirement and replacing it with a single pig validation stamp, making them a nongame animal, night hunting, and other concepts.

Gaines & Associates has been involved in all the discussions on similar legislation in the past, and is heavily involved again this year to ensure that, among other things, hunting opportunity for pigs is maintained and enhanced, and that the annual revenues of over $1 million to the BGMA from the sale of pig tags are protected.

AB 573 must first be heard in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, but has yet to be scheduled. With the legislative deadline for policy committees to hear fiscal bills introduced in their house already passed, and the substantive language of the bill still being developed, AB 573 is now a “two-year bill” and will not be heard until early 2018.

To view all the information available on AB 573, click AB 573 Detail

As amended April 27th, AB 718 – legislation authored by Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D/11-Oakley) – is intended to reduce or eliminate charges currently imposed by mosquito abatement districts for mosquito control on private property managed as wetland habitat. The legislation would authorize private landowners whose wetlands are encumbered by a state or federal conservation easement or protected in perpetuity by state or federal law, and within the boundaries of the Central Valley Joint Venture, to enter into an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the district to establish a process to implement best management practices (BMPs) which decrease mosquito production, provide net cost savings to the landowner, decrease the application of pesticides, and maintain or enhance the waterfowl habitat values on the property.

AB 718 was originally scheduled for hearing in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on April 4th, but was pulled from agenda by the author.  The measure was then rescheduled and heard in that committee on April 25th, passing out on a 13 to 1 vote. The bill is now on the Assembly Floor and must be heard on or before June 2nd to remain viable in 2017.

To view the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and Assembly Floor analyses of AB 718, click AB 718 Assy Analyses

To view all the information available on AB 718, click AB 718 Detail

To view the coalition letter in support of AB 718, click AB 718 Coalition Support

  • AB 907 (Garcia) – Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands Enhancement AB 907, legislation by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia (D/56-Coachella), would establish the Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands Enhancement in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. This bill is intended to get California’s public more actively engaged in outdoor recreation, more involved on stewardship of our natural resource issues, and to connect more people of color to the outdoors. The bill would require the Office of Outdoor Recreation and Public Lands Enhancement to create an advisory group to offer advice, expertise, support, and

As amended March 14th, AB 907 expressly defines “outdoor recreation” as a pursuit that occurs in a natural environment or physical landscape, including various active and passive sports and activities. Although the bill’s text lists numerous outdoor pursuits as examples – including fishing – it fails to list hunting.

AB 907 was heard in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on April 4th, passing out on a 11 to 0 vote. The bill was then briefly heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 26th, but with the committee analysis estimating the annual ongoing costs of the proposal at $720,000, it was quickly placed in the suspense file.  The bill must be pulled off suspense and heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee by May 26th  to remain viable in 2017.

Regardless of the likelihood of the bill’s passage, Gaines & Associates will work with the author’s office and others in the State Legislature to ensure that hunting and hunting opportunity is included in the language and positively promoted to the California public because of this measure – should it ultimately be passed into law.

To view the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee analyses of AB 907, click AB 907 Assy Analyses

To view all the information available on AB 907, click AB 907 Detail

  • AB 986 (Gallagher) – Hunting and Sport Fishing Licenses: Sport Fishing License Duration/Reduced License Fees for Veterans

As amended March 21st, AB 986 – legislation by Assembly Member James Gallagher

(R/03-Yuba City) – proposes a variety of changes to California’s hunting and sport fishing licenses.

To begin, AB 986 would change the term of a fishing license from the calendar year to the period of 12 consecutive months beginning on the date of purchase.

AB 986 would also reduce the fee required to obtain an annual or lifetime hunting or fishing license by 25% for a person who is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States, was honorably discharged, and is a resident of California.

Further, the bill would also reduce the cost of a sport fishing report card, validation or other entitlement by 25% for a person who is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States, was honorably discharged, and is a resident of California, and by 50% for a person who meets those requirements and who also has a 50% or greater service-connected disability.

AB 986 was heard in Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on March 21st, passing out on a unanimous 13 to 0 vote. The bill was then briefly heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 26th, but with DFW estimating annual revenue losses between $4.2 and $15.6 million, along with one-time costs of $866,000 for development and implementation, and $221,000 for increased program staff, the bill was promptly placed in the suspense file. The bill must be pulled off suspense and heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee by May 26th  to remain viable in 2017.

To view the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee analyses of AB 986, click AB 986 Assy Analyses

To view all of the information available on AB 986, including the text of the bill, bill history, bill status, and the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee analysis of the bill, click AB 986 Detail

As amended on April 5th, AB 1077 – legislation authored by Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell (D/70-Long Beach) – would extend “The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Act of 2003” until January 1, 2019, if a report required by the Act is received by the Legislature by January 1, 2018. If the report is not received by the Legislature by January 1, 2018, AB 1077 would sunset the Act on July 1, 2018.

“The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Act of 2003” provides for the acquisition, operation, and funding of state off-highway vehicle recreation areas and trails; established the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission and the Division of Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation within the Department of Motor Vehicles; and provided a grant program for, among other things, acquisition, administration, maintenance, and operation of areas and facilities associated with the use of off-highway motor vehicles.

The Act also imposes a service fee of $7 for the issuance or renewal of identification of off-highway motor vehicles that are subject to identification, along with a special fee of $33 paid at the time of payment of the service fee. These revenues, along with use fees for state vehicular recreation areas and other specified funds, are deposited in the Off- Highway Vehicle Trust Fund and allocated for purposes related to off-highway recreation.

Further, the Act requires revenues from gasoline taxes related to off-highway motor vehicles and off-highway vehicle activities to be transferred monthly from the Motor Vehicle Account to the OHV Trust Fund, according to a calculation performed by the Department of Transportation (DOT), in cooperation with the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The Act requires DOT to evaluate and revise the estimate of the amount of taxes placed upon the sale of motor vehicle fuel that is used in the operation of off highway vehicles and to provide a report to the Legislature by no later than January 1, 2018.

AB 1077 was heard in the Assembly Rules Committee on March 16th, passing out on a unanimous 9 to 0 vote. The bill was then heard is Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on April 4th, passing out on a 11 to 0 vote. AB 1077 was then briefly heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 3rd, but was placed in the suspense file. The bill must be pulled off suspense and heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee by May 26th  to remain viable in 2017.

To view the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee analyses of AB 1077, click AB 1077 Assy Analyses

To view all the information available on AB 1077, click AB 1077 Detail

As introduced, AB 1337 – legislation co-authored by Assembly Members Jim Patterson (R/23-Fresno) and Ken Cooley (D/08-Rancho Cordova) – would require the Fish and Game Commission to provide a live internet video broadcast of every Commission meeting or hearing that is open to the public, as well as every subcommittee meeting of the Marine Resources Committee, Wildlife Resources Committee, or Tribal Committee that is open to the public.

AB 1337 was heard in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee April 4th, passing out on a 13 to 0 vote. The bill was then heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 26th, passing out on consent. On May 4th, AB 1337 passed off the Assembly Floor on consent. The bill is now in the Senate, where it will first be heard in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, but has yet to be scheduled.

To view the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee analyses of AB 1337, click AB 1337 Assy Analyses

To view all the information available on AB 1337, click AB 1337 Detail

AB 1544, legislation co-authored by Assembly Members Brian Dahle (R/01-Bieber) and Devon Mathis (R/26/Visalia), would ensure that hunters can stay in the field and farmers and ranchers can continue to protect their property and livestock as California works to fully phase-in the requirement to use nonlead ammunition when hunting and managing wildlife statewide. AB 1544 is co-sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, California Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation and the California Houndsmen for Conservation with the assistance of Gaines & Associates.

AB 711, legislation passed in 2013, will require the use of nonlead ammunition for the take of all wildlife species statewide as of July 1, 2019. With nonlead ammunition not required for the take of any wildlife (except waterfowl) in any other state except California, the manufacture and availability of nonlead ammunition is currently highly limited in many calibers, and non-existent in others. With demand low due to nonlead ammunition not currently required for most species, nonlead loads in some common calibers can now be found at some California sporting goods retailers. However, when the ban on lead ammunition goes into full effect statewide in July 2019, California’s retailers will have difficulty acquiring adequate supply of nonlead ammunition necessary to meet skyrocketing demand.

Until recently, California’s hunters and ranchers could look to out-of-state retailers to help fill the expected substantial increase in demand for nonlead munitions. However, last year’s approval of proposals governing ammunition sales and purchase will ban internet and mail order purchase of ammunition without the cost-prohibitive step of going through a local retailer as of January 1, 2018, and prohibit most California residents from bringing ammunition purchased out of state into the state without going through a licensed ammunition dealer as of July 1, 2019.  Although the intent of AB 711 may or may not have been to keep law-abiding hunters out of the field, or farmers and ranchers from protecting their property and livestock – when combined with the passage of subsequent proposals which restrict ammunition purchase – AB 711 will do just that.

As amended on March 28th, AB 1544 would address this concern by giving the Fish and Game Commission the authority to “temporarily suspend” the prohibition on the use of lead ammunition for a specific hunting season and caliber, if the Commission finds that nonlead ammunition of a specific caliber is not available for any reason. The bill also would require the Fish and Game Commission to adopt criteria by January 1, 2019 to determine when nonlead ammunition is considered not available, and would require those criteria to include regional availability and the cost of nonlead ammunition. Finally, AB 1544 would prohibit a suspension from remaining in effect for longer than three years.

Although the legislation has sweeping support from hunting and conservation groups, as well as the California Farm Bureau Federation, California Cattlemen’s Association, and the California Wool Growers Association, the bill will face a tough battle at the State Capitol.

Since the bill’s introduction in late February, Gaines & Associates has been working closely with Assembly Members Dahle and Mathis and their staff, the bill’s sponsor organizations, and other partners in conservation to educate Legislators on the critical need for the bill and to build support for its passage. With additional work remaining to be done to secure the necessary votes, we have chosen to make AB 1544 a “two-year” bill to allow these efforts to continue through 2017.

AB 1544 will be first heard in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee in January 2018.

To view all the information available on AB 1544, click AB 1544 Detail

To view the coalition letter in support of AB 1544, click AB 1544 Coalition Support Ltr

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently suffering from a funding shortfall due to, among other things, increasing responsibilities and associated staff costs, combined with declining fishing and hunting license, stamp and tag sale revenues. Historically, the recreational and hunting and sport fishing communities, and to some extent the commercial fishing industry and the General Fund, have funded most of DFW’s fisheries and wildlife management activities. However, as the state’s population continues to grow, and loss of habitat puts greater stress on all our fishery and wildlife species, more and more of the Department’s activities are directed towards protecting fish and wildlife for the general benefit of the people of the state.

The DFW has an annual operating shortfall of $20 million in its Fish and Game Preservation Fund (FGPF) non-dedicated account. In his January 2017 budget proposal for FY 2017/2018, the Governor proposed to address the annual operating shortfall primarily through increased commercial fishing landing fees, and from a one-time shift of funds from a trust account funded by lifetime hunting and sport fishing licenses.

With the final outcome of FY 2017/2018 budget proposal uncertain at this time, AB 1617 – legislation authored by Assembly Member Richard Bloom (D/50-Santa Monica) – attempts to address this funding shortfall. Technically still a “spot bill”, AB 1617, as amended March 28th, would direct DFW to work with the Legislature, the hunting and fishing communities, other conservation and wildlife protection organizations, the commercial fishing industry and other interested parties to identify and propose new sources of revenue to fund the Department’s increasing responsibilities and work load.

Recognizing that the “consumptive” hunting and fishing community already pay far more than their fair share for DFW’s management and research efforts for game and nongame species, this bill will largely target identifying ways to bring in new annual funding streams from “non-consumptive” users and the general public.

AB 1617 was heard in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on April 4th, passing out on a 10 to 4 vote. The bill must next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, but has yet to be scheduled. AB 1617 must be heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee by May 26th to remain viable in 2017.

To view the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife analysis of AB 1617, click AB 1617 Assy WPW Analysis

To view all the information available on AB 1617, click AB 1617 Detail

  • SB 144 (McGuire and Nielsen) – Steelhead Trout: Fishing Report-Restoration Card Current law requires a person taking steelhead trout in inland waters to have a steelhead trout fishing report-restoration card, in addition to their California sport fishing license and any applicable sport license stamp. Existing law also requires fishing report- restoration card revenues be deposited in the DFW Fish and Game Preservation Fund and made available for the monitoring, restoration, and/or enhancement of steelhead trout resources. Further, the law required DFW to report to the Legislature on or before July 1, 2016, regarding the projects undertaken with fishing report-restoration card revenues, the benefits derived, and any recommendations DFW may have for revising the fishing report-restoration card requirement. The law calls for these provisions to become inoperative as of July 1, 2017, and to be repealed as of January 1,

As amended March 15th, SB 144 – legislation co-authored by Senator Mike McGuire (D/02-Healdsburg) and Senator Jim Nielsen (R/04-Gerber) – would extend the operation of the above provisions to July 1, 2022. SB 144 would also require DFW to report to the Legislature regarding the fishing report-restoration card program’s projects on or before July 1, 2021.

SB 144 was heard in Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on March 14th, passing out on a 9 to 0 unanimous vote. The bill was then briefly heard in Senate Appropriations Committee on April 3rd, but placed in the suspense file. The bill must be pulled off suspense and heard in Senate Appropriations Committee by May 26th to remain viable in 2017.

To view the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee analyses of SB 144, click SB 144 Senate Analyses

To view all the information available on SB 144, click SB 144 Detail

As amended May 3rd, SB 187 – legislation by Senator Tom Berryhill (R/08-Modesto) – would change the term of a fishing license from the calendar year to the period of 12 consecutive months beginning on the date of purchase. The bill would charge the Fish and Game Commission with adjusting the cost of the license to fully recover all administrative and implementation costs of DFW and the Commission relating to the license. SB 187 would also require DFW to submit a report to the Legislature by December 1, 2023, regarding the implementation of the new licensing periods and fees. The legislation would go into effect on January 1, 2020.

SB 187 was heard in Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on April 25th, passing out on a 9 to 0 vote. The bill will next be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee on May 15th. The hearing will be held in State Capitol, Room 4203, beginning at 9:00 AM.

To view the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee analysis of SB 187, click SB 187 Senate NRW Analysis

To view all the information available on SB 187, click SB 187 Detail

As amended March 21st, SB 234 – legislation by Senator Tom Berryhill (R/08-Modesto) – would require the Fish and Game Commission to undertake a survey and evaluation of local ordinances that regulate fishing and to submit the survey and evaluation to the Legislature in a report by December 31, 2018.

SB 234 was heard in Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on March 14th, passing out on an 8 to 0 unanimous vote.  The bill was then heard in Senate

Appropriations Committee on April 3rd, passing out on 7 to 0 vote. SB 234 is now on the Senate Floor where it must be taken up for a vote anytime on or before June 2nd to remain viable for the 2017 Session.

To view the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Floor analyses of SB 234, click SB 234 Senate Analyses

To view all the information available on SB 234, click SB 234 Detail

Existing law prohibits a person from making more than one application to purchase a handgun within any 30-day period. As amended April 24th, SB 497 – legislation by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D/25-Glendale) – would extend that prohibition to long guns. The bill would, however, exempt from that prohibition the purchase of a long gun by a person who possesses a valid hunting license and the acquisition of a long gun at an auction or similar event conducted by a non-profit organization.

SB 497 was heard in Senate Public Safety Committee on April 25th, passing out on a 5 to 2 partisan vote. The bill will next be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee on May 15th.  The hearing will be held in State Capitol, Room 4203, beginning at 9:00 AM.

To view the Senate Public Safety Committee analysis of SB 497, click SB 497 Senate PS Analysis

To view all the information available on SB 487, click SB 497 Detail

Existing law makes it a felony to possess a suppressor in California, punishable by imprisonment in county jail or by a fine not to exceed $10,000 or both.  As introduced, SB 710 – legislation by Senator Joel Anderson (R/38-Alpine) – would legalize suppressor ownership in our state, and allow for their use for hunting.  It is currently legal for a citizen to own a suppressor in 42 states, and they are legal for hunting in 40 states.  SB 710 is sponsored by the American Suppressor Association, with the assistance of Gaines & Associates.

Also known as silencers, suppressors are the hearing protection of the 21st century sportsman and shooter. The benefits of shooters and hunters being able to use suppressors in California are extensive, and include:

  1. Hearing Protection

Noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late. Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35 dB, which is roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs around the world.

  1. Safer Hunting

Most hunters do not wear hearing protection in the field because they want to hear their surroundings. The trouble is, exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can lead to permanent hearing damage. Suppressors allow hunters to maintain full situational awareness, while protecting their hearing. The result is a safer hunting experience for the hunter, and for those nearby.

  1. Noise Complaints

As urban development advances further into California’s once rural areas, shooting ranges and hunting preserves across the state are being threatened by, or closed due to noise complaints. Although it can still be heard, suppressed gunfire helps mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.

  1. Accuracy

One of the most common problems for shooters is decreased accuracy caused by flinching in anticipation of the firearm’s recoil. By containing the explosion of the gunpowder at the muzzle, suppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.

Finally, it is certainly worth noting that none of the states that have recently legalized citizen ownership of suppressors and/or authorized them for hunting have experienced any increase in violent crime or poaching as a result.

With the overwhelming opposition to firearms at our State Capitol, passing any legislation that proposes to legalize any firearm component that is currently illegal in our state is nearly impossible. Legalizing the ownership and use of suppressors in California will certainly be no exception – especially due to the inaccurate perception of them created by Hollywood.  Knowing that to pass this bill we must eliminate the misconceptions about suppressors, Senator Anderson and the bill’s sponsor have decided to make SB 710 a “two-year” bill. By doing so, Gaines & Associates can work with Senator Anderson’s office, the American Suppressor Association and others throughout 2017 to educate Legislators, enforcement agencies and other interests about the realities of suppressors and their substantial health and other benefits. These efforts will include holding an interim hearing at the State Capitol where questions can be asked and facts can be delivered by suppressor experts, and demonstrations at the range which can exhibit the true reduction in gunfire sound signature they provide for a variety of firearms.

SB 710 has been “double-referred”, and must be heard by two policy committees on the Senate side – Senate Public Safety Committee and the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.  The bill will not be heard until January 2018.

To view the American Suppressor Association’s support letter for SB 710, click ASA Support

To view the American Suppressor Association’s media release on SB 710, click ASA Release

To view all the information available on SB 710, click SB 710 Detail

 

 

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