Tracking the Capitols – Weekly Updates

congsprtfoundTracking the Capitols is a source of legislation currently being tracked by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation state policy team to keep you informed of the most pertinent and timely state legislation affecting hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping and other conservation issues. Inclusion in Tracking the Capitols does not necessarily constitute support or opposition to legislation by CSF and/or the CSF States Program. The bills noted in this email represent only a fraction of the legislation that CSF’s States Program is monitoring on a day-to-day basis.
Please visit our website for day-to-day updates by CSF’s State Program Team on important sportsmen’s legislation. To view past bills, please visit the Tracking the Capitols Archive under the Media Room tab on the CSF website.
Note: Bill sponsors who are members of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses are noted in bold.

Updates for the week of

March 30, 2015

NORTHEASTERN STATES

Introduced: 01/21/2015
Sponsor: Joint Committee on Environment
Issue Brief: Sunday Hunting
Summary: Authorizes Sunday hunting of deer with bow and arrow on private property provided such property is in a deer management zone and such hunting is done in accordance with certain wildlife management principles.
Status: Filed with Legislative Commissioner’s Office on March 26
Introduced: 01/22/2015
Sponsor: Representative William Tong
Issue Brief: Hatcheries
Summary: Provides funding for states fish hatcheries; creates a task force.
Status: Filed with Legislative Commissioner’s Office on March 26
Introduced: 03/05/2015
Sponsor: Joint Committee on Environment
Issue Brief: Ivory
Summary: Prohibits the sale and trade of ivory and rhinoceros horn; prohibits the sale and trade of ivory and rhinoceros horn and products made of such ivory and rhinoceros horn in order to limit the market for such items and reduce the killing of elephants and rhinoceros for their ivory and horns.
Status: Referred to Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis on April 1
Introduced: 09/23/2014
Sponsor: Councilmember Phil Mendelson
Issue Brief: Guns
Summary: (Temporary Law) Amends the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 to permit individuals to register a firearm for self-defense in their place of business, to provide a Freedom of Information Act exception, to specify application requirements for applying to carry a concealed pistol, to specify the duration of such licenses and certain requirements for renewal of licenses, to outline duties, to provide for revocation, to create a criminal offense, relates to licenses for residents and non-residents.
Status: Assigned Law Number 169 on March 7
Introduced: 09/23/2014
Sponsor: Councilmember Phil Mendelson
Issue Brief: Guns
Summary: (Permanent Law) Amends the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975; permits persons to register a firearm for self-defense in their place of business; provides a Freedom of Information Act exception for pistol registration information; specifies application requirements for concealed pistol licenses, license duration and certain requirements for renewal; outlines duties of licensees; provides for revocation of licenses; creates a criminal offense of carrying while impaired; specifies penalties.
Status: Projected Law Date: May 30
Introduced: 02/03/2015
Sponsor: Representative Joel Stetkis
Issue Brief: Knife Definitions
Summary: This bill repeals the provision of law making possession or distribution of dangerous knives a Class D crime.
Status: In House. Passed to be engrossed on March 26
Introduced: 02/06/2015
Sponsor: Representative Russell Black, Member, Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Bear Hunting; Hunting Dogs
Summary: Allows a person licensed to guide hunters to use one leashed dog outside of legal hunting hours to track and dispatch a bear wounded by the guide’s client.
Status: Work Session Held on March 26
Introduced: 03/04/2015
Sponsor: Representative Stephen Wood, Co-Chair, Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: General
Summary: (Resolution) Proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to exclude from laws that may be proposed in a citizen initiative laws governing hunting and fishing.
Status: Senate refers to Joint Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs in concurrence on March 24
Introduced: 03/24/2015
Sponsor: Representative Michelle Dunphy
Issue Brief: General
Summary: (Resolution) Proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to exclude from laws that may be proposed in a citizen initiative laws governing wildlife management.
Status: Senate refers to Joint Committee on Veteran and Legal Affairs in concurrence on March 26
Introduced: 03/27/2015
Sponsor: Representative Nicholas Boldyga
Issue Brief: Sunday Hunting
Summary: Permits hunting on Sundays.
Status: To Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture on March 27
Introduced: 03/27/2015
Sponsor: Representative Carmine Gentile
Issue Brief: Sunday Hunting
Summary: Repeals hunting restrictions on Sundays.
Status: To Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture on March 27
Introduced: 01/08/2015
Sponsor: Senator David Watters, Member, New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Hunter Education
Summary: Allows the fish and game department to establish a registration fee paid by applicants to a hunter education program; this bill is a request of the fish and game department.
Status: Executive Session: March 31
Introduced: 01/08/2015
Sponsor: Senator David Watters, Member, New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Drones
Summary: Extends the prohibition on harassment of persons hunting, fishing, or trapping and adds the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to the activities prohibited; relates to a request from the fish and game department.
Status: From House Committee on Fish and Game and Marine Resources: Ought to pass on March 26
Introduced: 03/16/2015
Sponsor: Senate Judiciary Committee
Issue Brief: General; Guns
Summary: Relates to possession of firearms.
Status: Passed Senate. To House on March 26
Introduced: 01/23/2015
Sponsor: Delegate Michael Webert
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Relates to definition of fur-bearing animal; defines the fisher as a fur-bearing animal in hunting and trapping provisions of the Code; provides that the fisher is a small carnivorous mammal native to North America; provides that it is a member of the weasel family.
Status: Acts of Assembly. Chapter No. 618 on March 26
SOUTHEASTERN STATES

 

Florida H 1291

Introduced: 03/03/2015

Sponsor: Representative Jim Boyd

Issue Brief: Angling Access; Budget Bills; General

Summary: Relates to implementation of water and land conservation constitutional amendment; terminates obsolete trust funds & provides for disposition of balances; revises distributions of documentary stamp tax revenues into certain trust funds; revises distributions of revenues upon sale of certain lands; reenacts the Land Acquisition Trust Fund; deletes obsolete provisions relating to use of bond & trust fund proceeds; conforms provisions.

Status: In House. Placed on Third Reading on April 1

 

Florida S 584

Introduced: 03/03/2015

Sponsor: Senator Charles Dean, Member, Florida Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus

Issue Brief: General

Summary: Relates to implementation of the water and land conservation constitutional amendment; terminates certain trust funds within the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; requires moneys in land acquisition trust funds created or designated to receive funds under s. 28, Article X of the State Constitution to be retained in those trust funds.

Status: In House. In Messages on April 1

Georgia H 475

Introduced: 02/24/2015

Sponsor: Representative Tom McCall, Member, Georgia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus

Issue Brief: General

Summary: Relates to game and fish; revises provisions relating to the hunting of feral hogs; revises definitions; allows for the taking of feral hogs without a hunting license; removes additional restrictions on the hunting of feral hogs; provides for related matters; repeals conflicting laws.

Status: Passed Senate. To House for concurrence on March 31

 

North Carolina S 112

Introduced: 02/25/2015

Sponsor: Senator William Cook, Member, North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus

Issue Brief: General

Summary: Urges all coastal community colleges to offer courses on commercial fishing and aquaculture.

Status: To House Committee on Education – Community Colleges on March 31

 

North Carolina S 658

Introduced: 03/30/2015

Sponsor: Senator Buck Newton, Co-Chair, North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus

Issue Brief: Sunday Hunting

Summary: Allows hunting on Sundays with certain limitations.

Status: To Senate Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate on March 30

 

South Carolina H 3115

Introduced: 01/13/2015

Sponsor: Representative Mike Pitts, Member, South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus; Past President, National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council

Issue Brief: Guns; Knife Preemption

Summary: Relates to the regulation of the ownership, transfer, or possession of firearms or ammunition; provides that no governing body of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision in the state may enact, enforce, or promulgate any regulation or ordinance that regulates or attempts to regulate the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of knives, firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, or any combination of these things.

Status: To Senate Committee on Judiciary on March 31

 

South Carolina H 3118

Introduced: 01/13/2015

Sponsor: Representative Mike Pitts, Member, South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus; Past President, National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council 

Issue Brief: General

Summary: Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to promulgate regulations governing wildlife management areas and heritage trust lands to establish seasons, dates, areas, bag limits, and other restrictions for hunting and taking wild turkey; establishes male wild turkey hunting season; declares youth turkey hunting day; provides a wild turkey bag limit; provides that wild turkey transportation tags must be validated before a turkey is removed from the point of kill.

Status: To Free Conference Committee on March 26

 

Tennessee S 1056

Introduced: 02/12/2015

Sponsor: Senator Mark Green

Issue Brief: Seniors; Veterans

Summary: Relates to Licenses; authorizes combat veterans, police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians who reside out of state and who are 50 percent service connected disabled to receive a sport hunting and fishing license upon payment of an annual $10.00 fee.

Status: Passed Senate. To House on April 30

 

Tennessee S 1237

Introduced: 02/12/2015

Sponsor: Senator Mike Bell, Chair, Tennessee Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus

Issue Brief: Apprentice Hunting License

Summary: Relates to Game and Fish Laws; increases, from one to three, the number of consecutive years that a person may purchase annual permits to exempt themselves from hunter education requirements.

Status: In House. Read second time. Hold on desk on April 1

 

West Virginia H 2515

Introduced: 01/29/2015

Sponsor: Delegate Rupert Phillips

Issue Brief: High Fence

Summary: Prohibits elk to be possessed if struck by motor vehicle; requires wildlife to be delivered to official checking station for electronic registration; increases fine for illegal taking of elk; prohibits hunting with night vision technology or unmanned aircraft; clarifies when a person may carry certain firearms; permits a person to carry firearm for self defense in the woods; clarifies when a shotgun or rifle is unloaded; permits crossbow hunting with limitations; establishes management area and damage fund.

Status: To Governor on March 30

 

 

UPPER MIDWESTERN STATES

Introduced: 01/14/2015
Sponsor: Representative Sean Eberhart, Member, Indiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: General License
Summary: Provides for the licensing and operation of hunting preserves on which farm raised and released cervidae and game birds are hunted; exempts licensed hunting preserves from the licensing requirements for game breeders and shooting preserves; provides that hunters on hunting preserves are not required to have a hunting license and are not subject to bag limits; requires that a transportation tag be fixed to the leg of each cervidae taken on a hunting preserve; prohibits computer assisted remote hunting.
Status: Committee amendment adopted on Senate floor on March 31
Introduced: 03/09/2015
Sponsor: Senate Judiciary Committee
Issue Brief: Sounds Suppressors
Summary: Relates to the making, transferring, and possession of firearms and suppressors; provides that a mechanical device specifically constructed and designed so that when attached to a firearm it silences, muffles, or suppresses the sound when fired is an offensive weapon; any person who knowingly possesses an offensive weapon commits a class D felony, punishable by confinement for no more than five years and a fine of at least $750 but not more than $7,500;
Status: To House Committee on Judiciary on April 1
Introduced: 01/28/2015
Sponsor: Senator Tom Casperson, Member, Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Prohibits use of unmanned aerial or unmanned submersible vehicles to interfere with or harass another individual who is hunting.
Status: Order Enrolled on March 26
Introduced: 01/28/2015
Sponsor: Senator Phil Pavlov, Member, Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Prohibits use of unmanned aerial vehicles for taking game.
Status: Order Enrolled on March 26
Introduced: 01/06/2015
Sponsor: Representative Jon Nelson, Member, North Dakota Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Ill Youth Hunting
Summary: Relates to big game and turkey hunting licenses for youth with a life-threatening illness.
Status: Passed Senate. To House for concurrence on March 31
Introduced: 01/12/2015
Sponsor: Representative Curt Hofstad
Issue Brief: Access to Private Lands
Summary: Provides for a prohibition on the purchase of conservation easements with public funds; establishes that a governmental entity may not provide funds through grant, contract, or other agreement to a nongovernmental entity that is a nonprofit organization for the purpose of holding any interest in real property or an easement longer than thirty years for wildlife or conservation purposes.
Status: Passed Senate. To House for concurrence on March 25
Introduced: 01/19/2015
Sponsor: Representative Todd Porter, Co-Chair, North Dakota Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Conservation Funding
Summary: Relates to the funding and purposes of the outdoor heritage fund; provides an effective date.
Status: Passed Senate. To House for concurrence on April 1
LOWER MIDWESTERN STATES

Introduced: 03/02/2015
Sponsor: Representative DeAnn Vaught
Issue Brief: Invasive Species
Summary: Concerns feral hogs; provides for the disposition of fees and fines related to feral hogs; provides for the resident depredation permit to hunt and trap feral hogs.
Status: Signed by Governor. Act No. 723 on March 27
Introduced: 02/20/2015
Sponsor: Senator Chapin Rose, Member, Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Crossbows
Summary: Amends the Wildlife Code; provides that a person that is 16 years old or Younger and is hunting during a regular bow hunting season may use a crossbow; provides that a youth hunting with a crossbow under a specified provision may be granted one deer either sex permit and one antlerless-only permit.
Status: In Senate. Placed on Calendar Order Second Reading on March 26
Introduced: 02/12/2015
Sponsor: House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
Issue Brief: Enforcement
Summary: Relates to prioritizing options for disposal of seized wildlife.
Status: To Senate Committee on Natural Resources on March 30
Introduced: 01/13/2015
Sponsor: Representative Trent Ashby, Member, Texas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Right to Hunt and Fish
Summary: Proposes a constitutional amendment relating to the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.
Status: From House Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism: Reported favorably with substitute on March 31
Introduced: 01/13/2015
Sponsor: Senator Brandon Creighton, Member, Texas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Right to Hunt and Fish
Summary: Proposes a constitutional amendment relating to the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.
Status: Passed Senate on April 1
PACIFIC-NORTHWESTERN STATES
Introduced: 03/06/2015
Sponsor: Representative David Talerico, Member, Alaska Legislative Outdoor Heritage Caucus
Issue Brief: Budget Bills; General License
Summary: Raises certain fees related to sport fishing, hunting, and trapping; raises the age of eligibility for a sport fishing, hunting, or trapping license exemption for state residents to 65 years of age; requires state residents to purchase big game tags to take certain species; provides for an effective date.
Status: Referred to House Committee on Finance on March 27
Introduced: 01/22/2015
Sponsor: House Resources and Conservation Committee
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Fish And Game; Amends existing law; revises provisions; relates to the illegal killing, possession or waste of certain fish and game animals.
Status: Signed by Governor on March 25
Introduced: 02/18/2015
Sponsor: House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Relates to Fish and Game; provides infractions for failure to purchase a muzzleloader permit, an archery permit, sage grouse or sharp-tailed grouse hunting permits, failure to wear hunter orange in wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked, taking upland game birds, except turkeys, during specified hours, public use restrictions, using watercraft on any waters that are posted against such use, dog field trials, constructing blinds, paintball guns and shooting into posted safety zones.
Status: Signed by Governor on March 25
Introduced: 02/02/2015
Sponsor: Assembly Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining Committee
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Urges the United States Congress and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to take certain actions to reduce the impact of common ravens on the greater sage grouse population in this State.
Status: Ordered Engrossed on March 31
Introduced: 02/02/2015
Sponsor: Senator James Settelmeyer, Member, Nevada Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Animal Traps
Summary:  Provides exemptions from certain registration requirements for the trapping of wild mammals on private property.
Status: Passed Senate. To Assembly on March 31
Introduced: 02/02/2015
Sponsor: Senate Natural Resources Committee
Issue Brief: General License
Summary: Revises provisions governing the stamp required for the hunting of migratory waterfowl.
Status: From Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining: Do pass on March 26
Introduced: 03/17/2015
Sponsor: Senator Mo Denis
Issue Brief: Ivory
Summary: Prohibits the sale or transfer of ivory under certain circumstances.
Status: Hearing scheduled in Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor, and Energy on April 3
Introduced: 01/23/2015
Sponsor: Representative Shelly Short
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Understands the effects of predation on wild ungulate populations.
Status: To Senate Committee on Ways and Means from Senate Committee on Natural Resources Parks
WESTERN STATES

Introduced: 02/11/2015
Sponsor: Assembly Member Frank Bigelow, Member, California Outdoor Sporting Caucus
Summary: Defines wild pig. Provides such species is deemed controlled under certain circumstances and provides the owner is not liability if the owner maintains the animals under those circumstances. Deletes a wild pig management requirement. Provides for moneys to remediate land damaged by wild pigs. Replaces the wild pig tag requirement with a validation on the hunting license that allows for unlimited take and possession, and sets fees therefore. Provides pig take notification requirements.
Status: In Assembly. Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife on March 26
Introduced: 02/23/2015
Sponsor: Assembly Member Ken Cooley, Member, California Outdoor Sporting Caucus
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Authorizes a person with a valid license to carry a firearm capable of being concealed on the person, consistent with the terms of that license, while engaged in the taking of deer with bow and arrow as long as he or she does not take or attempt to take deer with the firearm.
Status: To Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife on March 5
Introduced: 02/24/2015
Sponsor: Assembly Member Jim Frazier, Co-Chair, California Outdoor Sporting Caucus
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Provides that the state fully occupies the field of the taking and possession of fish and game. Prohibits a city or county from adopting an ordinance or regulation for the taking or possession of fish and game. Provides that unless otherwise authorized by the Fish and Game Code or any other state or federal law, the commission and the department are the only entities that may adopt or promulgate regulations.
Status: To Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife on March 9
Introduced: 03/23/2015
Sponsor: Representative Yeulin Willett
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Concerns a plan to study the available bear management tools year round to address bear-human conflicts.
Status: From House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources: Reported favorably on April 1
Introduced: 01/05/2015
Sponsor: Representative Nancy Ballance
Issue Brief: General; Invasive Species
Summary: Appropriates money that would usually be appropriated by budget amendment to various state agencies; provides certain appropriations continue.
Status: To Senate Committee on Finance and Claims on April 1
Introduced: 01/21/2015
Sponsor: Representative Tom Jacobson
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Revises hunting access enhancement program laws and provide funding; relates to fish and wildlife; relates to state revenue.
Status: To Senate Committee on Fish and Game on April 1
Introduced: 02/10/2015
Sponsor: Senator Mark Blasdel
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Eliminates the state limitation on the use of sound reduction devices on firearms.
Status: Passed House. To Senate for concurrence on April 1
Introduced: 01/26/2015
Sponsor: Representative Mike Schultz
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Modifies commercial hunting area provisions; modifies age requirements and hunter education requirements; includes trial hunting authorizations.
Status: Signed by Governor on March 26

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