Around the States: Florida, Maryland, Washington

Florida: Last week, SCI Eastern States and Local Liaison Bee Frederick along with North Florida Chapter leaders Scott Thomas and Gary Thigpen attended the inaugural Conservation at the Capitol event in Tallahassee. During the event, over 20 conservation organizations joined together with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission staff and Commissioners to honor legislators who co-sponsored the Right to Fish and Hunt legislative effort in 2023. This effort passed through both chambers of the Florida Legislature with only one dissenting vote in the Spring of 2023 and will appear on the November 2024 ballot as constitutional Amendment 2. SCI was proud to sponsor the event to support the various legislative champions for hunting and the sportsmen’s way of life and will continue to support the constitutional amendment leading up to the vote this Fall.
Additionally, while in Tallahassee Frederick attended the monthly Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) meeting. During the meeting, the FWC Commissioners approved various hunting related changes which include, among other items, establishing new hunts and various season expansions on 36 WMAs as well as allowing the take of gray squirrel year-round on lands outside the WMA system.
Maryland: SCI CEO Laird Hamberlin submitted a letter of opposition for Senate Bill 983 which seeks to phase out ALL hunting with lead ammunition by 2026, prioritizing deer hunting. This measure would significantly restrict physical and economical access for those who hunt in Maryland, and SCI strongly believes that efforts related to non-traditional ammunition should not be mandated but only educational and voluntary.

Washington: SCI joined a coalition letter opposing a bill that would impose onerous requirements on Federal Firearms Licensed Dealers, particularly on small business owners who could not afford to implement the provisions of the bill.  Video surveillance and storage requirements in the bill alone would cost businesses over $100,000 to comply.  Should the bill pass, the likely result will be significantly fewer firearms dealers, while driving up the cost to hunters, recreational shooters, and law-abiding firearms owners with no likely impact on violent crime within the state. Read the letter. 

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