The recent political push for gun control by several states and the federal government isn’t just a constitutional issue affecting those who would own a gun for personal safety, protection from tyrannical government, competitive or recreational shooters, or personal militias. Hunters are one of the groups that will also be deeply affected by the current push for gun control.
The New York Times recently reported that in Colorado, the State Senate gave preliminary approval to a package of gun bills. At its heart are measures that would require universal background checks for private gun sales and limit ammunition magazines to 15 rounds.
Other measures would create a fee for background checks; require those convicted of domestic abuse to surrender their firearms; and require residents applying for permits to carry concealed weapons to take in-person training classes, outlawing the handful of online-only courses now offered in the state.
Here are three concerns for hunters when it comes to gun control:
First, any gun control leads to a further erosion of the process which enables current hunters to freely obtain adequate weapons and ammunition for the purposes of hunting. The type of guns and ammo allowed are going to become more closely regulated. How can you bring down a large game animal such as a brown bear with a pistol or smaller caliber rifle and a non-expanding round? The elimination of such ammunition has been proposed by elected officials.
Next, gun control would lead to greater financial hardship for hunters. Currently, most gun control is in the form of tighter background checks, higher gun and ammo costs, background checks, and general difficulty in purchasing, possessing and owning guns. Anytime something is controlled, prices skyrocket. And anytime the government takes more control of anything, it means more paperwork and fees.
Finally, when guns are forbidden, who will control animal populations? One of the purposes for hunting is animal conservation. Controlling herd size, and predation increases the general health of the animals. Herd’s that are too large, overeat destroying their resources and leading to illness and starvation. Heavy predation leads to herds that are too small causing the starvation of the predators. Hunters help balance this scale. One of this nation’s resources is the wildlife. Wildlife renews us, allows us to enjoy nature’s beauty, feeds us, and keeps our flora healthy as well.
As with all things that run a political gamut, gun control may be something you are for or against. However, for hunters, increasing control will only lead to a loss of lifestyle, a future expense, and a destruction of a national resource. To preserve your hunting future, contact your representatives and hold them responsible to vote for the people. If we don’t start caring, nobody will.