California Waterfowl’s advocacy team works actively with lawmakers from both parties to promote legislation beneficial to wetlands and hunting. We also fight detrimental bills, either opposing them outright or, when they’re certain to pass, working to minimize detrimental impacts.
While CWA is focused on waterfowl, we often take positions on legislation affecting other species or forms of hunting because we know our members have diverse conservation and hunting interests. We also lobby on firearm legislation that could negatively affect law-abiding hunters.
If you sign up for our action alerts, we’ll let you know when it’s time to contact your representatives in Sacramento or Washington, D.C., and we’ll make it easy for you to contact them by email through our Voter Voice system.
The California Legislature is in session, and CWA is monitoring and advocating on behalf of waterfowl, wetlands and hunting. We will add bills to the list below as we take positions on them.
BILLS WE SUPPORT
Coastal wetlands funding
AB 65 (Cottie Petrie-Norris, D-Irvine): Would allocate funds from the voter-approved Proposition 68 (June 2018 ballot) to support coastal wetlands, including eelgrass beds that migrating brant depend on. Click here to read our letter of support (PDF).
Junior license age extension
AB 284 (Jim Frazier, D-Oakley): A CWA-sponsored bill in 2014 temporarily extended junior hunting license eligibility to youth ages 16 and 17 at the beginning of the license year (July 1), helping families save money and extending eligibility for special hunting opportunities. This bill would make that eligibility extension permanent. Update: This bill failed in May, and subsequent efforts to achieve a one-year extension were not successful. The extended eligibility expires July 1, 2020, but we will keep pursuing this issue. Click here to read our coalition support letter for AB 284 (PDF).
12-month fishing licenses
AB 1387 (Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa): Would require fishing licenses to be good for one year from the date of issuance and would require licenses that can be displayed on mobile devices. Click here to read a conservation coalition letter of support (PDF). Update: This bill failed, but it can be considered again in January.
AJR 8 (Bill Quirk, D-Hayward): Would urge Congress to add California to the Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003 and to authorize an appropriation of $4 million to help the state implement a nutria eradication program. Nutria are becoming a problem in the Grasslands Ecological Area. Click here to read our letter of support (PDF).
SB 253 (Bill Dodd, D-Napa): Would establish an incentive-based conservation program at the California Department of Food and Agriculture and require the program to optimize wildlife habitat benefits while supporting the economic viability of California agriculture by providing incentives and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers. Click here to read our coalition letter of support (PDF).
SB 257 (Jim Nielsen, R-Fresno): Would require the California Department of Justice to inform local law enforcement agencies when someone has been added to the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) list. There is currently a large backlog of prohibited persons who have not been disarmed; local law enforcement can help shorten that list. Click here to read our letter of support (PDF).
SB 395 (Bob Archuleta, D-Cerritos): Would allow anyone who unintentionally strikes and kills a deer, elk, antelope or wild pig on a roadway with a vehicle to recover, possess, use or transport the whole animal and salvage the edible portions of the animal. Click here to read a conservation coalition letter of support.
Hunting and fishing guides requirements
SB 410 (Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber): Would increase the fee for obtaining a guide’s license, increase the amount of surety bond guides must acquire, and create guide identification stickers that must be used. Update: This bill failed.
Funding to purchase wildlands
SB 474 (Henry Stern, D-Canoga Park): Would would extend the sunset date on the Habitat Conservation Fund, which annually transfers $30 million to various natural resource entities, including the Wildlife Conservation Board, to purchase wildlands for the public, establish conservation easements on private land and enhance the habitat values of existing public lands. Click here to read a conservation coalition letter of support (PDF). Update: This legislation was incorporated into the state budget, so this funding has been extended for 10 years.
H.R. 1435 (Garamendi, D-CA-3): The Sites Reservoir Project Act would direct the Secretary of the Interior to take actions supporting non-federal investments in water infrastructure improvements in the Sacramento Valley, and for other purposes. Click here to read our letter of support (PDF).
H.R. 2473 (Harder, D-CA-10): The SAVE Water Resources Act would, among other things, direct the Secretary of the Interior to provide a report on groundwater storage opportunities in California and provide a financial mechanism that would help bring the Sites Reservoir to fruition (click here to learn about our position on Sites). Click here to read our letter of support (PDF).
BILLS WE OPPOSE
Gun violence restraining order – extended duration
AB 12 (Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks) would extend the duration of gun violence restraining orders for up to five years. Click here to read our opposition letter (PDF).
AB 18 (Marc Levine, D-San Rafael): Would impose an excise tax on handguns and semiautomatic rifles to fund the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Program. Click here to read CWA’s opposition letter (PDF) and here to read a conservation coalition letter of opposition (PDF). Update: AB 18 didn’t make it out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee by the May 17 deadline and is likely dead for the year.
AB 273 (Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego): Would “prohibit the trapping of any fur-bearing mammal or nongame mammal for purposes of recreation or commerce in fur and would prohibit the sale of the raw fur of any fur-bearing mammal or nongame mammal.” Click here to read our opposition letter.
Firearm storage in the home
AB 276 (Laura Friedman, D-Burbank): Would require people in control of firearms to secure them with a device on Department of Justice’s roster of approved firearm safety devices when they are out of the home. A person convicted under these provisions would lose the right to possess firearms for 10 years. Update: AB 276 missed its vote deadline in the Assembly Public Safety Committee and is likely dead for this year.
Long gun vehicle storage requirements
AB 688 (Kansen Chu, D-Milpitas): Would require any firearm being transported in a vehicle to be secured to the vehicle’s frame using a steel cable lock or chain and padlock or in a locked container that is secured using a steel cable lock or chain and padlock or that is permanently affixed to the vehicle. Maximum fine for violation would be $1,000. Click here to read our initial opposition letter, and here to read our letter to members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee (both PDFs). Update: AB 688 didn’t make it out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee by the May 17 deadline and is likely dead for the year.
AB 1788 (Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica): Would expand a prohibition against pesticides containing certain anticoagulants to make it statewide.
Expanding gun ownership prohibition for alcohol/drug offenses
SB 55 (Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara): Would prohibit people from owning or possessing firearms for 10 years if they have been convicted twice in three years of misdemeanors involving alcohol or some controlled substances. Click here to read our opposition letter (PDF).
Firearm retailer security requirements
SB 220 (Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo): Would double requirements for storage of firearms during non-business hours, requiring dealers to use two of three security methods when they are required now to use one of three. Click here to our opposition letter (PDF).