BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  SB 1179|
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                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS

          Bill No:  SB 1179
          Author:   Hollingsworth (R)
          Amended:  8/2/10
          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

           SENATE FLOOR  :  28-6, 6/2/10
          AYES: Aanestad, Alquist, Ashburn, Calderon, Cogdill,  
            Correa, Cox, Denham, DeSaulnier, Dutton, Florez, Harman,  
            Hollingsworth, Huff, Kehoe, Liu, Negrete McLeod, Padilla,  
            Price, Romero, Runner, Simitian, Steinberg, Strickland,  
            Walters, Wolk, Wright, Wyland
          NOES: Cedillo, Corbett, Hancock, Leno, Pavley, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED: Ducheny, Lowenthal, Oropeza, Wiggins,  
            Vacancy, Vacancy

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  72-3, 8/17/10 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Free hunting days

           SOURCE  :     Author



                                                               SB 1179

           DIGEST  :    This bill authorizes the Department of Fish and  
          Game to designate two free hunt days per year.
           Assembly Amendments  authorized, rather than required, the  
          establishment of two free hunting days, clarified who was  
          allowed to hunt on a free day, and outlined requirements in  
          order to hunt.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law:

          1.Requires possession of a hunting license to take birds or  
            mammals in California, and provides for issuance of  
            hunting licenses to residents and nonresidents upon  
            payment of specified fees. 

          2.Requires completion of a hunting education course as a  
            condition of obtaining a hunting license. Hunter  
            education courses are a minimum of 10 hours and cover  
            firearm safety and handling, sportsmanship and ethics,  
            wildlife management and conservation, archery, black  
            powder, wildlife identification, game care, first aid,  
            and survival. 

          3.Requires possession of a fishing license to take fish,  
            authorizes the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to  
            designate two free fishing days per year. 

          This bill:

          1. Authorizes the Director of DFG to designate two free  
             hunting days per year, one during the Fall hunt season  
             and one during the winter season. Requires DFG to  
             publish the dates of the free hunt days. 

          2. Authorizes a California resident to hunt during a free  
             hunt day if accompanied by a licensed hunter who meets  
             certain specified requirements, and requires that the  
             unlicensed hunter stay in close visual and verbal  
             contact with the licensed hunter at all times. Requires  
             that the licensed supervising hunter be at least 21  
             years old, licensed to hunt for at least the last three  
             consecutive years, and accompany only one unlicensed  
             hunter in the field at a time. 


                                                               SB 1179

          3. Provides that an unlicensed hunter may only participate  
             in the free hunting days for one license year, and  
             requires that the unlicensed hunter complete a hunter  
             education course approved by DFG and register with DFG  
             prior to participating in a free hunting day. 

          4. Requires that an unlicensed hunter participating in a  
             free hunting day must have in his or her possession a  
             certificate of completion of a hunter education course,  
             and any required tags, report cards, federal  
             entitlements, and required entry permits. 

          5. Provides that the unlicensed hunter shall be subject to  
             all of the limitations, restrictions, conditions,  
             statutes, rules and regulations applicable to licensed  
             hunters, except the requirement to possess a valid  
             hunting license. 

          6. Prohibits an unlicensed hunter participating in a free  
             hunting day from taking any species that requires a draw  
             or lottery to obtain a tag. 

          7. Authorizes DFG to adopt additional minimum requirements  
             and restrictions for participating in a free hunting  

          8. Prohibits this bill from being implemented until DFG's  
             Automated License Data System is fully operational for  
             at least one year. 

          9. Makes legislative findings and declarations regarding  
             the contributions of hunters and fishermen and the fact  
             that the state allows for two free fishing days, and  
             states legislative intent to similarly allow for two  
             free hunting days. 

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


                                                               SB 1179

          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

          1. Potential annual costs to DFG of an unknown amount, but  
             likely around $125,000, to deploy additional enforcement  
             staff on free hunting days, many of who will receive  
             overtime pay (Fish and Game Preservation Fund. 

          2. Minor costs to DFG to administer the program and, if it  
             chooses, to adopt additional minimum requirements for  
             Free Hunting Days. 

          3. Potential annual loss in revenue to DFG of an unknown  
             but likely minor amount to the extent residents  
             participate in Free Hunting Days instead of purchasing  
             hunting licenses. 

           SUPPORT  :   (Unable to reverify)

          California Association of Firearms Retailers
          California Sportsman's Lobby
          National Shooting Sports Foundation
          Outdoor Sportsman's Coalition of California
          Safari Club International
          Safari Club International Foundation

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    Supporters assert that this bill  
          provides parity with fishing since DFG is already  
          authorized to designate two free fishing days per year.   
          They also contend that by allowing persons who have never  
          hunted before to try it out before purchasing a license,  


                                                               SB 1179

          this bill could introduce new hunters to the sport who may  
          then elect to purchase licenses in the future.  The author  
          also cites statistics from the National Shooting Sports  
          Foundation indicating that accidental firearms fatalities  
          are at an all time low, the injury rate of hunting compared  
          to other types of recreation, and the impact of the  
          firearms industry on California's economy. 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  
          AYES: Adams, Anderson, Arambula, Bass, Beall, Bill  
            Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bradford,  
            Buchanan, Caballero, Carter, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Coto,  
            Davis, De La Torre, De Leon, DeVore, Eng, Evans, Feuer,  
            Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Fuller, Furutani, Gaines,  
            Galgiani, Garrick, Gatto, Gilmore, Hagman, Hall, Harkey,  
            Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill, Huber, Huffman, Jeffries,  
            Jones, Knight, Lieu, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma,  
            Mendoza, Miller, Monning, Nestande, Niello, Nielsen,  
            Norby, V. Manuel Perez, Portantino, Ruskin, Salas,  
            Saldana, Silva, Smyth, Solorio, Audra Strickland,  
            Swanson, Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Tran, Villines, John  
            A. Perez
          NOES: Ammiano, Brownley, Skinner
          NO VOTE RECORDED: Blakeslee, Charles Calderon, Nava,  
            Yamada, Vacancy

          CTW:nl  8/18/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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