Posted in Sportsmen's Alliance
After a deluge of calls and letters to members of the New York Assembly Environmental Committee, New York Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick (D) laid aside her bill, Assembly Bill 722, which would ban any hunting competition and many dog-training events, to allow more time to discuss the language. Unfortunately, the bill can still be brought back up by the committee, but this delay gives New York sportsmen more time to call their legislators to oppose AB 722.
The Sportsmen’s Alliance has built a strong coalition between its New York members, the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club and the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America to explain the problems with the bill.
Take Action Today! New York sportsmen should call their Assembly member and ask them to vote NO on AB 722. New York members can find their Assembly member by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Directory.
Hearing from New York hunters has already made a big difference. The original bill was so broadly written that many current hunting practices in New York would have become illegal, along with other common practices, such as field trials:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to organize, sponsor, conduct, promote, or participate in any contest, competition, tournament or derby with the objective of taking or hunting wildlife for prizes or other inducement, or for entertainment.”
In response to feedback from sportsmen, the bill was amended with language that attempted to exempt field trials. Unfortunately, it didn’t go far enough. Only formal events were protected, while other canine performance events and practices are still left vulnerable to prosecution. The problems with the bill don’t stop with just field trials and hunting contests, though. Simple promotion of an event could land someone in jail.
A local volunteer fire department holding a big-buck contest to raise money for equipment would be in violation of the law. If the local mayor posted a flyer for the contest to social media to help his fire department raise that money, he, too, would be guilty of a crime for “promoting” the contest.
The penalties for violating the law are also hefty. A person could be sent to jail for up to a year and would face up to a $2,000 fine for otherwise legal hunting methods, training their dog or making a social-media post.
“We are glad that the members on both sides of the aisle on the Environment Conservation Committee understood that such broad and vague language contained in AB 722 was an unjustified attack on sportsmen and women,” said Bruce Tague, vice president of government affairs for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Our hope is that the committee will see that this legislation is unnecessary and only punishes sportsmen and women engaged in lawful wildlife management practices.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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