Opinion by Larry Keane
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Go west, young man. That’s what California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is telling hunters and anglers.
That is, of course, as long as hunters are willing to pay a fee for the privilege to purchase ammunition in the Golden State and pass a state-required background check. There are a couple more minor stipulations.
Hunters can’t bring their own ammunition into the state if they’re traveling there and they can only use expensive non-traditional ammunition.
California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is putting on a full-scale blitz to bring hunters out of the woodwork and back into the woods. The wildlife officials are noticing a crisis.
Hunters and anglers are largely responsible for wildlife conservation funding. On the left coast, though, that funding pool is drying up.
It’s hardly a surprise. For decades, elected officials have scapegoated gun owners and hunters for political advantage. The state has some of the strictest gun control measures in the country. State biologists blamed hunters’ use of traditional ammunition for the plight of the California condor and since banned the use of it throughout the state. They’ve levied increasingly burdensome regulations and squeezed out hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts. Now, the state’s wildlife and public lands are feeling the results.
Roughly five percent of Americans hunt. It’s why the NSSF created the +ONE campaign, to challenge hunters and recreational shooters to pledge to introduce someone new to the woods and shooting ranges. California’s participation, however, hovers around 1 percent.
A quick look at California’s oppressive gun control laws shows why. Along with the background checks for ammunition purchases, the nation’s most popular selling centerfire rifle,