Do You Need a Background Check to Go Deer Hunting?

Hunters throughout the country need licenses, permits and, usually, permission from landowners in order to hunt deer, upland or waterfowl birds, small game and other big game species.

target ammoWe apply for tags and special permits, get licenses or permits for public land hunting, and have to undergo background checks to purchase rifles and handguns for hunting, sport shooting or personal use.

What if you had to undergo a background check just to purchase ammunition and then were told that you only could buy a specific, small amount? Even if you were going to the range for a day of sighting in a rifle or handgun before going hunting, you might only be able to buy a small amount for the range time and then have to go through all the rigamarole for your hunting trip.

That’s what is being proposed in California. No surprise there, eh? Check out this press release about the situation:

In June, the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee voted to pass SB 53, anti-sportsman legislation that would establish a new government-run permitting system to regulate the purchase and sale of ammunition in the state.

Now, SB 53 has moved to the Assembly Floor where it could be called up for a vote at any time.

If passed, SB 53 would require virtually anyone wishing to obtain ammo used for any purpose, even hunting and target shooting, to undergo a background check and obtain approval from the State of California.

SB 53 would create a state-run database of individuals approved to purchase ammunition and authorize the California Department of Justice to create an ammunition purchase permit program requiring law abiding citizens to register and pay a fee every two years, simply for acquiring common items like shotgun shells or rifle ammo. Furthermore, SB 53 would harm small businesses and limit consumer choice by banning mail-order and internet ammunition transactions in California.

Wildlife could also suffer unintended consequences if SB 53 is signed into law. By unnecessarily making it more difficult and expensive for California’s sportsmen and women to enjoy hunting and recreational shooting, SB 53 represents a direct threat to the American System of Conservation Funding. As a component of this system, revenue generated from dedicated taxes on ammunition is used to support state wildlife conservation agencies such as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. In addition to interfering with access to and continuation of our outdoor traditions, SB 53 could ultimately result in less funding for the management of the Golden State’s public wildlife resources.

Click here to contact the California Legislature Outdoor Sporting Caucus to voice your opinion about this proposal!