Wildlife Gun Tax is Misguided: Urge legislators to remove hunting promotion restrictions
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Further amend proposed bill to allow this outdated funding system to represent ALL wildlife interests.
The proposed bill amendments in SB 2690/HB 4818 while proclaiming to modernize the Pittman-Robertson Act (PRA) are STILL FAILING to acknowledge that weapon taxes derived from the non-hunting public are not representing the estimated 80% of gun owners today who do not hunt. Whether they use shooting ranges or not is missing the point.
The Pittman-Robertson Act (PRA) originated in 1937, in an era when the majority of gun owners were hunters. In striking contrast, only 1 in 5 gun owners engage in hunting today.
So, why should NON-hunting derived tax dollars still be spent solely to promote hunting today?
Worse, not only must every state wildlife agency spend this money convincing the public that hunting is a wholesome family activity, agencies are actually forbidden to use dollars towards any program that might even be viewed as opposing hunting!
What was once taxation with logical wildlife use representation has been hijacked and manipulated TO FURTHER THE AGENDAS OF A VERY VOCAL, WELL-CONNECTED MINORITY INTEREST. It is now illogical to the point of being disingenuous, and even dangerous when decision makers become desperate and force questionable agendas targeted at children. (You really should check out that link!)
Federal tax funding should benefit all wildlife, all wildlife activities, and ALL citizens.
We must demand that our elected officials do what the appointed state wildlife managers and commissions refuse to do: Modernize the PRA weaponry funding system and its biased spending mandates.
Please, go beyond signing this message to the bill sponsors. Your elected officials ALSO really need to hear from you about wildlife management today.. Click here to find your elected official using your zipcode and please take a moment to call and/or write and let them know the following:
Dear (legislator). Regarding SB 2690/HB 4818; “Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act of 2016”. As your constituent …. I want you to know my opinion about how wildlife is managed in our state. I ask that you oppose the amendments in their entirety until the provisions are removed that still require spending federal tax dollars on pro-hunting programs.
(If you are also a non-hunting gun owner be sure to mention that)
Q: Wildlife watching brings my state so much more money than hunting does, yet the wildlife agency only promotes hunting. Why?
A: The law currently gives wildlife agencies the political cover they need to control weapon tax funding to advance pro-hunting agenda. ONE OF THE REASONS we are demanding that the language be changed is TO REMOVE THE PROVISION THAT LIMITS FUNDING TO ONLY THOSE PROJECTS THAT ARE NOT OPPOSED TO HUNTING.
Q: Who really “pays for wildlife” today, Vs what the agencies and sportsmen claim to?
A: Two articles will help you obtain a critical-to-know understanding about wildlife funding. Please take the time to save and read them:
“WILDLIFE CONSERVATION & MANAGEMENT FUNDING IN THE U.S.” - revised 2015
Q: Has anyone contacted the BILL sponsors about the inadequate amendments?
A: Yes, Center for Wildlife Ethics has started that ball rolling! See their letter, click here This petition is targeted to those sponsors so you are speaking to them by signing today, but it is YOUR elected representatives who really need to know you are watching today! We may have been absent while our wildlife management was hijacked over past century -- but we are here now. It’s time to DEMAND THAT ALL WILDLIFE ACTIVITIES BENEFIT FROM THE FUNDING STRUCTURE - NOT JUST KILLING.
Q: I don't want my wildlife agency to have access to taxes generated by non-hunter purchases because they will just spend them on more hunting programs! I don't trust them! So what am I signing here...?
A. UNFORTUNATELY, THE TAXATION SCHEME IS NOT VOLUNTARY. NON-CONSUMPTIVE USE TAXES ARE ALREADY BEING USED FOR THIS PURPOSE SO IT'S NOT AS IF CITIZENS HAVE A CHOICE. WE MUST START LEVELING THIS PLAYING FIELD.
WE'RE ASKING FOR AN EQUAL SPLIT OF FUNDING SO ALL WILDLIFE ACTIVITIES CAN BENEFIT - NOT JUST CONSUMPTIVE USE.
Q: So what good will contacting my elected officials do? Why not just contact the sponsors?
A. The sponsors of this bill are obviously more on the side of this archaic and misguided funding mentality and believe being so will somehow help them politically. YOUR legislator needs to hear from you now, before s/he may be asked to vote on this bill. Is your legislator one of the sponsors? Check here: Current HR 4818 Bill Sponsors
NO ONE CAN ARGUE THAT EXPANDING THE FUNDING'S REACH TO INCLUDE NON-CONSUMPTIVE ACTIVITIES IS SOMEHOW HARMFUL TO WILDLIFE, SO IT PUTS THEM ON THE DEFENSE -- WHERE THEY RIGHTFULLY BELONG TODAY.
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