The latest came as something of a surprise to me, but it looks like AB711 hit a snag on the rapid path to passage. Scheduled for hearing on this past Monday, the bill was moved to the “suspense calendar” in order to give the committee members more time to review the proposed legislation and its impacts.
What does this mean? It means that CA hunters and gun owners have a little more time to continue efforts to stop this bill from becoming law. It means that the arguments against the bill have a little bit of traction, and the pressure needs to continue.
What it does NOT mean is victory. It is not the opportunity to breathe easier, or to relax the efforts to stop this legislation. Remember what happened with the hound hunting ban. The moment it looked like it was defeated, pressure dropped off and suddenly the bill went through and became law. Hunters and gun owners can’t turn your backs on this until it the bill has been scrubbed away… and even then, it will almost certainly come back.
If AB711 is defeated (there is still only a slim chance that it will fail), then it will be time for hunters to carry the offensive and push to end (or at least reduce) the trend of wildlife management through the ballot box. It is past time to start pulling the teeth of the agenda-based organizations in Sacramento by pushing for legislation that puts wildlife decisions in the hands of the biologists and professionals who have the knowledge and expertise to make solid, science-based decisions. I recognize that there must always be a place for public opinion in the way public resources are managed, but that opinion can’t be allowed to override good management policy.
Regardless of the fate of AB 711, the existing lead ban is probably not going anywhere. However, there’s positive news once again for Monterey County hunters. As they did last year, the Ventana Wildlife Society and the Monterey County Fish and Game Advisory Commission are offering local hunters the opportunity to get free ammo. With the help of Cabela’s, these organizations will be sponsoring a drawing which begins Saturday, 6/29. 200 winners will receive a free box of lead-free ammo from Cabela’s for use during the upcoming hunting season (A-zone rifle season opens in less than two months!).
To enter, go to the Ventana Wildlife Society website, http://ventanaws.org/ and fill out the entry form. Remember that you must be 18 or over, and you must live in Monterey County to be eligible.