To: Rep. Briscoe, J.,
Subject: Firearms Industry Support - HJR 15 Right to Hunt, Fish, and Harvest Wildlife
Dear Chairman Stratton and members of the Committee,
The National Shooting Sports Foundation represents the firearms industry in Utah as well as the rest of the United States. Our members include over 12,000 manufacturers, retailers and distributors along with the other businesses and media related to firearms, ammunition and accessories. We represent companies as large as Vista, Cabela’s and Browning, and as small as mom and pop gun shops. Our members pay almost $1 Billion dollars each year nationally through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson funding) dedicated to wildlife habitat, conservation and education. Utah’s Department of Natural Resources receives over $15 million each year as a result.
As of June, 2019, twenty-two states including Vermont, Alabama, Minnesota, North Dakota, Virginia, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Montana, Georgia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Wyoming, Mississippi, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, and North Carolina had added the Right to Hunt and Fish to their constitutions by amendment. California and Rhode Island added the right to fish but declined to add hunting. We applaud this committee for considering this measure for Utah.
Hunting and Fishing are part of the history of the Utah and this country. We believe strongly that this amendment helps to ensure that the opportunities to hunt and fish will be available for future generations. This amendment, as well as those that have been adopted by other states, will maintain the paradigms of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation - recognizing the authority and importance of management and regulation by the state’s wildlife professionals using the best science and for the public good.
Hunting has come under attack in a number of states. Hunters are harassed, and some locations have gone as far as banning the use of hunting as a tool to control certain wildlife populations. We believe that approach to be misguided and short cited. Hunters have been the driving force behind the greatest wildlife restoration and conservation stories in the world. This amendment will ensure that Utah continues to recognize and support those successes.
Thank you sincerely for considering this resolution. We urge you to move it forward.
Nephi John Cole
Director, Government Relations-State Affairs
National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc.
11 Mile Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470-2359
203-426-1320 ext 217
NSSF — The Firearms Industry Trade Association