The Sportsmen’s Alliance and our New Hampshire members, along with a number of other sportsmen’s groups in the state, were able to defeat a handful of bills that would have negatively impacted sportsmen and dog owners. The 2019-20 New Hampshire legislative session recently came to an end, killing bills related to the makeup of the state’s game commission, training sporting dogs and discharging firearms. The bills include:
NH S 469: would have subjected existing and new shooting range operators to fines if a shooting range did not adhere to all local noise ordinances without a grandfather clause. The bill would have enabled new homeowners, homeowner associations and local governments to regulate law-abiding shooting ranges out of existence. If existing ranges did not adhere to all local government noise regulations implemented before and after a range began operations, they would be subjected to criminal and civil liability. Essentially, if a single homeowner or local government wanted to push a shooting range out of business for personal bias or political reasons, they were encouraged to do so by this legislation.
NH S 588: would have banned wildlife contests, including field trials, coyote hunts and big buck competitions. SB 588 is part of a national trend backed by the Humane Society of the United States and other animal-rights groups to outlaw lawful hunting activities. The Sportsmen’s Alliance has fought similar legislation in a number of other states, and works to stay ahead of these coordinated attacks, as the ultimate goal of the animal-rights crowd is to end all forms hunting, fishing and trapping.
NH H 1504: would have established a committee to study a recreational trapping ban. The bill would have created a committee that was required to begin meeting within 45 days of the enactment of the law and to submit its recommendations to the legislature by Nov. 1, 2020. Even though the law would have only created a “study committee,” a recommendation by the committee to ban recreational trapping would have set the wheels in motion for the legislature to pass a law to ban trapping or put extreme pressure on the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to do the same.
NH H 1571: would have deleted the requirement that appointed commissioners to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission be sportsmen who hold a license, and simply stated that participants must accept scientific methods and be well informed on hunting and fishing. HB 1571 would have allowed those who oppose hunting to be appointed to the commission. This is a part of an alarming national trend to remove hunters and anglers from the regulatory boards that oversee them by the anti-hunting lobby. The future of hunting and shootings sports in New Hampshire is reliant on a game commission made up of sportsmen that make regulatory decisions based on the recommendations of wildlife biologists.
NH H 1602: would have established a statewide animal-abuse registry that would apply to anyone convicted of even minor offenses involving dogs. The abuse registry would be publicized online and include an offenders name, photo and address. This would have literally given animal-rights activists the ability to identify an individual and where they lived, which would allow protestors to harass an individual and their family for minor offenses.
“The Sportsmen’s Alliance, our members and our state partners worked hard to defeat legislation that would have damaged New Hampshire’s storied outdoor heritage,” said Jacob Hupp associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “We will continue to monitor and engage on any bills in the Granite State and nationwide as the future of our national hunting heritage is continually threatened.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.