Colorado Hunters Boycott Gun Laws
Posted by Peter Bunnell on February 11, 2014 0 CommentsOver the last year, Colorado has created quite a stir with hunters. In March 2013, Colorado's legislature announced a bill that would limit ammunition magazines to a mere 15 rounds and also expanded required background checks. Amid great controversy, this bill failed to result in a boycott in late 2013, much to the happiness of Colorado's legislature.
While Colorado's final hunting licenses have not been tallied yet, the state's estimated fishing and hunting industry brings in nearly $1.8 billion annually. In fact, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is heavily dependent upon nonresident big game licenses for their operating budget. Collecting nearly $38 million alone in 2012, deer and elk non-resident licenses are a booming business, compared to only $7.6 million for in-state residents.
Non-residents pay $589 for elk licenses, in addition to $586 for an over-the-counter license. By contrast, Colorado residents pay $49 for an elk-hunting license and $46 for an over-the-counter license.
When Governor John Hickenlooper initially signed the gun sales restriction bill a year ago, many hunters threatened to boycott Colorado hunting season, leaving some fearing that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife funds would report substantial decreases over 2012's figures. However, hunters returned to Colorado and limited-license applications showed a 4-percent increase over the previous year. Most locals didn't report a difference in revenues; however, some hotels did report fewer visitors.
Gun control advocates cite these results as being beneficial. Advocates say the proposed legislation didn't have an impact on Colorado's revenues and neither would more gun restrictions. Hunters, however, still showed up to Colorado in droves, applying for big game permits, bear and pronghorn licenses. The latter, of which, were down by 2,800.
With sportspeople uniting, the capitol saw the recall of two Democratic state senators who supported gun control. Colorado Outfitters Association supports less gun control, citing these injustices as a form of fundamental rights and freedom losses.
With the largest heard of elk in the U.S., hunters are going to have a difficult time boycotting this Rocky Mountain state, despite current or proposed legislation.
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