The recent gun proposals signed into law by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper might have some very unexpected consequences. Following announcements from Magpul and the Outdoor Channel to leave the state, hunters are standing up and taking notice. Many, like Outdoor Channel producer Michael Bane, call for a boycott of hunting in the Centennial State.
According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, these rumblings are still minor for the time being, but the issue has officials worried. Out-of-state hunters account for roughly 15 percent of hunting licenses issued in the state and provide a much needed boost for rural towns. This could all be put in jeopardy if popular opinion turns against Colorado.
“There’s a united front of sportsmen that are tired of having their freedoms and liberties and fundamental rights taken away from them,” said Chris 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’s small businesses could be the first to suffer. Small towns that rely on nonresident hunters may fall on hard times, especially businesses that supply and outfit hunters. Surprisingly, even though they could be taking a hit financially, some store owners and hunting guides support the boycott if it would help in overturning the recent gun control laws. Jurney, who is a professional hunting guide, approved of the Outdoor Channel’s exodus from the state.
“I would like to see support from the sporting goods industry and everybody that has a stake in it, so we could fight this kind of legislation,” said Jurney. “[…] I think it’s a good stand and if it has to come to that then so be it,”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have reportedly asked the state’s attorney office for a clarification of how the firearm-related laws would affect hunters. A spokesman for the department states that while there is a “potential for impact,” wildlife management should not be drastically affected.