Backers of Senate Bill 1221, which would ban hunting of black bears and bobcats using hounds, failed to earn enough votes to pass the California State Assembly’s Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee this afternoon.
“It all came down to last minute telephone calls from hunters to key Assembly members on the committee,” said Evan Heusinkveld, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance’s director of state services. “The folks who made those calls made the difference today.”
From the beginning, sportsmen and women have outworked the anti-hunters, packing hearing rooms, and flooding the offices of legislators with calls. Despite this, the Senate ignored the voice of their constituents and passed SB 1221 by just two votes, which sent the bill to the Assembly.
Today’s committee hearing was no different as hunters from all over the Golden State packed the room. This time, however, when it was time to vote, the anti’s came up short. Assemblyman Ricardo Lara was absent, and Assemblymen Mike Gatto and Roger Hernandez abstained. This development left proponents of the hunting ban short of the seven votes needed to move the bill forward.
The battle is not over however, as the committee Chairman is able to bring the bill back up for a re-consideration vote (basically a re-vote) within the next week.
“It will all come down to which side is able to generate the most contacts to their Assembly members,” explained Heusinkveld. “Now more than ever, it is critical for all California hunters to contact their Assembly member today and ask for a no vote on SB 1221.”
Take Action! California sportsmen must call their state assembly member in opposition to Senate Bill 1221. To find your member’s contact information visit the Legislative Action Center.
This article originally appeared on the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance website.
Image from Superior Forest Service on flickr