Hunters boycott Colorado over gun laws

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Hunters across the country say they are boycotting Colorado because of recent legislation meant to curtail gun violence.

Colorado last week became the first Western state to ratchet back gun rights in response to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and an elementary school in Connecticut. Opponents warned that the gun controls would hurt hunters, especially an expansion of background-check requirements to apply to personal and online gun sales.

Republican opponents of the new background-check law said it would make criminals of hunters lending each other weapons for weekend hunting trips. In response, Democrats changed the bill to give people a 72-hour grace period to share guns without triggering background-check requirements. Republicans then said the bill would imperil weeklong hunting trips.

Gun rights advocates who said hunters would boycott Colorado in protest say they are following through on their threats.

Michael Bane, a freelance producer for The Outdoor Channel, announced he will no longer film his four shows in Colorado.

Hunting outfitters say people began canceling trips after the legislation passed, The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported (http://tinyurl.com/cfbquoy ).

Northwest Colorado hunting guide Chris Jurney expects more state defections in a major tourism industry. Out-of-state hunters accounted for 15 percent of hunting licenses last year, 86,000, compared with 489,000 for residents.

“There’s a united front of sportsmen that are tired of having their freedoms and liberties and fundamental rights taken away from them,” said Jurney, vice president of the Colorado Outfitters Association. “That kind of unity among sportsmen is going to be big, and unfortunately for those of us who live here, we’re going to suffer the consequences of this misguided legislation.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said his agency has asked the state attorney general’s office for advice on impacts to hunters. While legal possession of high-capacity magazines is grandfathered in, officials want to make sure they are still legal to use.

“We believe there’s the potential for impact. That’s out of our control,” he said. “Hunting is a tool to manage wildlife populations, and we do not believe the impacts will affect that part of our mission.”

Jurney said he expects the actual impact of gun regulations on Colorado hunters will be small. Varmint hunters tend to use high-capacity magazines, so they might be limited.

The head of the Colorado Tourism Office, which tracks travel spending in Colorado, told The Associated Press there was no immediate data showing any impact from a hunting boycott. Al White said Colorado has the region’s friendliest licensure process for out-of-state hunters and a waiting list for big-game licenses.

White touted the nation’s only over-the-counter licensing for elk hunting by out-of-state visitors.

“You can’t do that in Wyoming. You can’t do that in Montana,” he said.

Jeff Lepp, owner of Specialty Sports, a gun and hunting shop in Colorado Springs, predicts hunters are going to choose to visit other Rocky Mountain states.

“Small mountain towns and rural towns in this state are going to lose a lot of money because you’re not going to see the number of out-of-state hunters coming here,” he said. “Other states are going to see a growth.”

Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com

More in Local News

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Motorcyclist killed in crash had high level of THC

A motorcyclist had more than eight times the legal limit… Continue reading

Police: Driver threatens pedestrian, ends up in drug bust

Meth, cocaine and heroin were found in his car, along with a loaded pistol and cash, police say.

Son arrested for hitting father on head at Marysville home

The father grabbed a metal rod and struck his son in the head, too. Both needed medical treatment.

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Paine Field fire chief will be allowed to retire

In his letter, the airport director noted Jeff Bohnet was leaving while under investigation.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

A King County voter uses a ballot drop box. (King County Elections)
Counties fed up with unfunded mandates may sue the state

For example, no money has been provided to install, maintain and clear out required ballot boxes.

Most Read