The Role of the Hunter in the Debate about Firearm Control


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Ole Humpback
January 26, 2013, 03:55 PM
*MOD NOTE*

I have posted this thread both here & in the Hunting forum as well. Please modify the threads as you see fit.

Now, onto the post.

Being a member of the NWTF, I am more concerned with conservation and preserving our hunting heritage for future generations. However; recent proposed legislation would effectively take away my hunting firearms and end my involvement in hunting for at least the short term if not permanently. Yesterday I received this email from the NWTF explaining why the hunter needs to be involved in the gun control debate:

"Sportsmen were the original conservationists and remain the driving force in conservation today. By purchasing hunting and fishing licenses, paying a voluntarily imposed excise tax on all firearms, ammunition and other sporting equipment (Pittman–Robertson Act and Dingell-Johnson Act), and supporting conservation organizations, sportsmen pay for 80 percent or more of conservation efforts in this country.

The preservation of our hunting heritage and conservation is intertwined, and without sportsmen the conservation movement as we know it today would cease to exist. Hunters truly are Champions of Conservation. Without hunting and without hunters, conservation in North America as we know it would not exist.

The NWTF has worked to ensure that our ability to hunt and the skills for hunting are passed on to future generations. We have worked to reduce legal barriers to hunting and succeeded in 38 states, resulting in the purchase of 800,000 new hunting licenses. We introduce almost 100,000 people to the outdoors each year through NWTF programs. This helps to create new hunters and builds an understanding among those who may not become hunters of the role that sportsmen play in preserving the outdoor spaces and wildlife that everyone enjoys.

The right to bear arms is another pillar supporting the continuation of the hunting tradition. It is critical that we not lose sight of this as the gun control debate takes place. We must remember that the efforts to preserve our hunting heritage can be undone if we add new barriers to hunting by limiting the tools that the vast majority of sportsmen depend on to hunt.

The NWTF remains committed to protecting our hunting rights and, as a result, is committed to supporting the protection of our Second Amendment rights. Modern sporting rifles are an important tool for many hunters, and the NWTF works to ensure hunters can continue to use modern firearms. There has been a lot of talk about “assault weapons” and semi-automatic firearms recently. As active shooters and hunters, we know that AR-15 style firearms and .223 caliber rifles have become common among predator, small game and hog hunters, as well as recreational shooters. We will fight efforts to portray these firearms in a negative light.

These inalienable rights are not only critical to the preservation of a free society, ensuring that Americans have the ability to protect themselves and their families, but are inseparable from this nation’s hunting tradition. By staying focused on the principles our founders established, we will protect the things most important to us and future generations.

In these times it is important that sportsmen raise our voices together to be heard. Thank you for supporting the NWTF as we work to protect our hunting heritage and our right to utilize the firearms that make sense for our chosen sports of shooting and hunting.

Sincerely,


George C. Thornton
CEO"

I have for a long while sat on the sidelines in regards to gun control because I thought that any new AWB wouldn't affect me as a hunter & sporting shooter (trap, skeet, & sporting clays are what I enjoy). However; the more time I have spent here, learned about gun control, and read the letter of the proposed legislations, I have come to realize how wrong I am to think that wood stocked hunting & sporting arms are somehow immune to the unconstitutional actions of Congress.

In this recent round of new laws, hunters more than ever need to be involved and even leading the charge so to speak as it is the dollars we spend on hunting that have funded the conservation efforts of generations to preserve both our outdoor resources, hunting heritage, and RKBA.

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splattergun
January 26, 2013, 07:59 PM
I think that all hunters should consider that not only does the 2A support our hunting tradition as mentioned in OP, but the hunting tradition supports the 2A. They are mutually dependent. What weakens one weakens the other.

Any hunter that supports weakening RKBA (aka strengthening gun laws), is in effect, cutting his/her own throat.

As I just mentioned in another post, any right comes with it danger and responsibility.l

helotaxi
January 26, 2013, 08:03 PM
Any person who actually enjoys doing anything of their own choosing should be an ardent supporter of the 2A. Unfortunately they don't teach real history in schools anymore so way too many don't understand that relationship.

hso
January 26, 2013, 11:16 PM
Excellent analysis of the situation.

How do we turn this into a plan of action to defend all of us against the firearms prohibitionists?

Hunterdad
January 27, 2013, 08:44 AM
The day after Cuomo put the NYSafe Act into play, I was at Gander Mountain talking to a few guys. Two of the guys weren't worried at all because all they had were a few shotguns and bolt actions. They had the attitude that the new law didn't effect them, so they didn't care. Attitudes like that from gun owners really chaps my hide. I told them to be careful, because it will effect them soon.

A few days Later Cuomo introduced his new budget and it said he would be taking 63 Million from the Department of Environmental Conservation and taking over $39 Million for the NY Safe Act.

So, for any sportsman that don't think it will affect you.....it will eventually.

Skyshot
January 27, 2013, 10:26 AM
Gun owners, collectors, hunters, target shooters and anyone who wants to own ANY firearm better know that solidarity is the only way we can defeat this legislation or executive action that is going to be crammed down our throats. You see the thing about liberals and socialists is, whatever they can push through now will never be enough.

Art Eatman
January 27, 2013, 01:26 PM
Regardless of why we own firearms, we're all in it together. What harms one segment of our world harms all--if not now, eventually.

But the founding documents say nothing about hunting or about self-defense. "Heller" added self-defense, but it said nothing about hunting.

If you bring hunting to this emotional argument, you provide babble-room to those yapping about magazine capacity of your self-defense firearm.

Lastly, more people own firearms for self-defense and for target-shooting than for hunting. It's a numbers game, and elected officials only look at votes.

Yes, hunters as a group are a voting bloc, but a pro-hunting argument is not really useful when the issues of rapid-fire and "high-capacity" magazines are the subjects of the debate.

beatledog7
January 27, 2013, 02:06 PM
We all realize that gun owners, be they hunters, competition shooters, collectors, or just people who know we live in a dangerous world, are as varied in their lifestyles, occupations, etc. as any other population segment. In fact, we're not a population segment in the demographic sense at all, any more than, say, everyone who sings in a choir or everyone who has a beagle.

So, we all have different perspectives on gun control. The key is to remember that the antis don't want our guns--they want control. Anything we surrender to them just empowers them to move on to the next thing, and that next thing is always something they claim to not be after.

Ole Humpback
January 27, 2013, 04:22 PM
Guys, I believe the point of the NWTF letter is being missed. If any new gun control is passed, its going to reduce the number of new hunters, limit how much hunting existing hunters can do, and ultimately have a severe financial impact on both conservation efforts and taxation on hunting activities.

He's not being touchy feely. I spend almost $100 a year on just the liscenses to hunt here in Indiana, thats not including the tags ($50 for buck deer, $50 for any deer, $50 for turkey, ect) and I would qualify myself as a low end spender. Imagine if the state of Indiana alone lost 100,000 hunters from a new AWB (please read the legislation that Feinstein put forth before responding) at $100 a year (this is very possible as semi auto shotguns that can fire more than 5 rounds are on the list of banned guns). Thats a $10 million per year loss of revenue to just the state alone.

Imagine the economic impact on a much broader scale. Lets say that the US looses 1 million hunters to new gun control legislation. Assuming they all spend $100 a year hunting (again low), thats a loss of $100 million in revenue a year that directly funds conservation efforts. The US cannot afford to pass new gun control legislation in any form as it would destroy our economic ability to perform effective conservation.

Ole Humpback
January 27, 2013, 04:24 PM
I believe the point hunters need to make is an economic point in addition to the legal aspect.

I spend almost $100 a year on just the liscenses to hunt here in Indiana, thats not including the tags ($50 for buck deer, $50 for any deer, $50 for turkey, ect) and I would qualify myself as a low end spender. Imagine if the state of Indiana alone lost 100,000 hunters from a new AWB at $100 a year (this is very possible as semi auto shotguns that can fire more than 5 rounds are on the list of banned guns). Thats a $10 million per year loss of revenue to just the state alone.

Imagine the economic impact on a much broader scale. Lets say that the US looses 1 million hunters to new gun control legislation. Assuming they all spend $100 a year hunting (again low), thats a loss of $100 million in revenue a year that directly funds conservation efforts. The US cannot afford to pass new gun control legislation in any form as it would destroy our economic ability to perform effective conservation.

zorro45
January 27, 2013, 05:33 PM
The taking of funds that were generated by sporting license fees and earmarked for conservation/fish & game law enforcement seems to be a common theme. This should be a potential target for legal challenge of the NY Safe Law. In the state where I hunt the "Environmental Police" has become a paramilitary group that spends most of its time searching for meth labs in the woods and enforcing a patchwork of firearms laws that bear no relation to what is needed for rational firearms safety. Good luck if you ever need them to respond to a poaching/game law violation, the response time for traditional fish & game law enforcement activity may take 2-3 weeks.

Ole Humpback
February 2, 2013, 08:33 PM
Yes, the loss of revenue from hunting licenses is a powerful economic tool, but it seems to me that hunters in general just have no clue how legislation like Feinsteins AWB or other proposed legislation would affect them.

For myself, I currently own these 5 firearms:

Remington Model 41 Targetmaster
Model 74 Winchester
Henry Goldenboy
Browning Gold Fusion 12ga
Browning Lever Rifle (BLR)

And these are the firearms I still have to buy (so far):

Pedersoli 50cal Hawken Rifle
Pedersoli 1874 Sharps Sporting Rifle
Model 70 Safari Winchester
Springfield 1911

Now, lets run down the list of firearms that I own/want to buy that would be "assault weapons" under just the Feinstein AWB bill (according to her summary of the bill page: http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/assault-weapons-ban-summary ):

Remington Model 41: OK
Model 74 Winchester: ILLEGAL (its a semi-auto rifle that has both a "pistol grip" & a removable magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds)
Henry Goldenby: ILLEGAL (it has a removable magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds)
Browning Gold Fusion: ILLEGAL (it has a detachable stock, has a "pistol grip", is capable of accepting a detachable magazine that can hold more than 5 rounds, is capable of accepting/has a forward grip)
BLR: OK
Hawken Rifle: OK
1874 Sharps: OK
Model 70: OK
Springfield 1911: ILLEGAL (it can accept a detachable magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds)

Now, I know I've seen it on this forum that her bill & other proposed bills also include blanket bans on guns with pistol grips (outside of handguns mind you) as well as blanket bans on guns that accept detachable magazines. So if we include those previsions in there as well:

Remington Model 41: ILLEGAL (has a "pistol grip")
Model 74 Winchester: ILLEGAL (its a semi-auto rifle that has both a "pistol grip" & a removable magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds)
Henry Goldenby: ILLEGAL (it has a removable magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds)
Browning Gold Fusion: ILLEGAL (it has a detachable stock, has a "pistol grip", is capable of accepting a detachable magazine that can hold more than 5 rounds, is capable of accepting/has a forward grip)
BLR: ILLEGAL (the gun is fed from a detachable box magazine)
Hawken Rifle: OK
1874 Sharps: OK
Model 70: ILLEGAL (has a "pistol grip")
Springfield 1911: ILLEGAL (it can accept a detachable magazine capable of holding 10 or more rounds)

This means that all my current firearms would be classified as "assault weapons" and all but two of my currently desired firearms would be legal for me to buy. And to just drive home the point of how bad the proposed bans are in relation to my firearms:

Remington Model 41: single shot 22 S, L, & LR
Model 74 Winchester: semi-automatic 22LR
Henry Goldenby: lever action 22WMR
Browning Gold Fusion: semi-automatic 5 shot 12ga
BLR: lever action 257 Roberts with a 4 shot limit
Hawken Rifle: 50 cal blackpowder rifle
1874 Sharps: 45-70 single shot with tradition straight stock
Model 70: 375 H&H with 3rd fixed magazine
Springfield 1911: 7rd handgun used for the last 100 years

Now, if I had interest in a 1874 Silhouette Sharps rifle, it too would be illegal due to the "pistol grip" ban.

See where this is going? A lot of hunters are on the sidelines because they think that the firearms that they own can't be defined as an "assault weapon" or that a wood stocked hunting firearm has no banable features to it. Under just the Feinstein AWB alone, 3 of the firearms I currently own while they are not in anyway military style firearms, would be defined as assault weapons.

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