BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  SB 1179|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  SB 1179
          Author:   Hollingsworth (R)
          Amended:  6/1/10
          Vote:     21

           SENATE NATURAL RES. & WATER COMMITTEE  :  6-3, 4/13/10
          AYES:  Cogdill, Hollingsworth, Huff, Padilla, Simitian,  
          NOES:  Pavley, Kehoe, Lowenthal

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  10-0, 5/27/10
          AYES:  Kehoe, Alquist, Corbett, Denham, Leno, Price,  
            Walters, Wolk, Wyland, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Cox

           SUBJECT  :    Free hunting days

           SOURCE :     Author

           DIGEST  :    This bill establishes two free hunting days per  
          year, on which any California resident may hunt in the  
          state without a hunting license. 

           ANALYSIS  :    Under existing law, a person must posses a  
          valid hunting license to take birds and mammals in  
          California. Additionally, under 3050, in order to receive  
          a hunting license, a person must complete a course in  
          hunter education, principles of conservation, and  
          sportsmanship or have had a hunting license in the past.  
          Hunter education courses are offered by the Department of  


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          Fish and Game (DFG) and cover firearms safety and handling,  
          sportsmanship and ethics, wildlife management and  
          conservation, archery, black powder, wildlife  
          identification, game care, first aid, and survival. Courses  
          are a minimum of ten hours.  DFG must offer the course for  
          free, although DFG may charge a teaching-materials fee.

          Existing law requires a person to obtain a valid sport  
          fishing license to take any fish, reptile, or amphibia in  
          the state.  The director of DFG, notwithstanding this  
          requirement, may designate up to two days a year as free  
          sport fishing days during which residents and nonresidents  
          may fish without holding a sport fishing license, but are  
          still subject to all the limitations, restrictions,  
          conditions, laws, rules, and regulations applicable to  
          sports fishing.

          This bill:

          1.Requires the Fish and Game Commission to establish two  
            free hunting days per year. On those days, any California  
            resident is eligible to hunt without a hunting license,  
            provided that the unlicensed hunter is accompanied by a  
            licensed hunter who is over 18 years of age and has had a  
            hunting license for three years.

          2.Authorizes DFG to required that unlicensed hunters  
            demonstrate that they are capable safely operating a  

          3.Authorizes federally licensed firearm dealers, their  
            employees, certified hunter education instructors, and  
            licensed hunters who have had a license for three  
            consecutive years to certify that an unlicensed hunter is  
            capable of safely operating a firearm.

          4.Allows DFG to prohibit unlicensed hunters from taking  
            species that require a tag granted by lottery or draw or  
            species that also require a federal tag to take.

          Free fish days simply allow individuals to fish without  
          purchasing a license. Free hunting days, as proposed by  


                                                               SB 1179

          this bill, allows individuals to not only hunt without a  
          license but also to forgo a hunter education. The  
          Legislature enacted hunting education requirements in order  
          to ensure the health and safety of hunters and to reflect  
          the Legislature's intent that hunters be aware of their  
          responsibilities "to others, towards wildlife, and toward  
          their natural environment."  According to the Fish and Game  
          website, hunting accidents of all types have declined  
          substantially with the education requirement.  However, the  
          courses offered by DFG go further than firearm safety by  
          also teaching topics including wildlife management and  
          conservation, wildlife identification, game care, and first  
          aid.  The committee may wish to consider whether it is  
          desirable to allow an individual to hunt without receiving  
          a more comprehensive hunting education course.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee: 

                          Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions                2010-11     2011-12     2012-13     
          Increased enforcement              Up to $130 per year    
          Special *
          Reduced license and tagUnknown, likely more than $180 per  
          year   Special *

           SUPPORT  :   (unable to verify at time of writing)

          California Association of Firearms Retailers
          California Sportsman's Lobby, Inc.
          National Rifle Association of America
          National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc.
          Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of California
          Safari Club International
          Sierra Club 

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author's office,  
          "SB 1179 hopes to introduce more people to the sport of  


                                                               SB 1179

          hunting.  Not only is hunting a time-honored outdoor  
          activity which has deep roots in our nation's culture, but  
          it is also an activity which generates a great deal of  
          commerce and sales tax revenue.  Hunters purchase gas,  
          food, clothing, supplies, and lodging accommodations,  
          pumping millions of critical dollars into local economies.   
          This is especially true in the depressed rural areas of our  
          state where job opportunities are often limited, but good  
          hunting areas are in ample supply."  The author also  
          submitted statistics to the committee from the National  
          Shooting Sports Foundation that demonstrate that accidental  
          firearms fatalities are at an all time low, the injury rate  
          of hunting compared to other recreation, and the impact of  
          the firearms industry on California's economy.

          CTW:nl  6/1/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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