EDGEFIELD, SC — In response to an outpouring of concerns from hunting, shooting and conservation organizations and the state wildlife agency, the California legislature has passed a bill amending the language of a recently signed law that broadly prohibited all advertising of firearms and firearm-related products to youth. in the state. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the corrective bill into law yesterday.
The Firearms: Advertising to Minors bill (AB 2571), enacted in June under an urgency clause, meaning there was no opportunity to negotiate or amend, directly affected the National Wild Turkey Federation’s reach to its JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) members. The ambiguity of the bill meant that the NWTF could not meet our obligation to send JAKES Country magazine to youth members or include youth firearms in banquet auctions. Advertising for outreach and recruitment events focused on hunting, hunter education, and shooting activities was also banned.
“After the bill passed, a coalition of sports organizations, with the help of government relations agency Gaines and Associates, immediately came together to negotiate with the governor’s office and lawmakers on language that would correct the unintended consequences of overbroad language for our outreach, fundraising and mission delivery in California,” said Patt Dorsey, director of conservation operations for the NWTF West region. “It was clear that the state’s own outreach and education efforts, as well as those of conservation organizations, were not the intended goals of the ban.”
The corrective language is included in AB 160, an omnibus that addresses a number of public safety issues, and exempts from the ban any advertising that offers or promotes classes or events related to firearm safety, hunting or shooting sports or promotes membership in any organization. .
“We believe that the Firearms: Advertising to Minors law is still constitutionally unsound by the nature of its restrictions on freedom of expression. A legal challenge filed by other sports and shooting organizations continues to move forward with the goal of revoking it outright,” Dorsey said. “However, AB 160 allows the NWTF and other organizations to resume delivery of our mission and full membership services.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested more than half a billion dollars in wildlife conservation and has conserved or enhanced more than 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to advance wildlife conservation, forest resiliency, and robust recreational opportunities across the US by working across borders at the landscape scale. Today, the NWTF is investing heavily in wild turkey research to ensure the future of wild turkey populations and is working to ensure Healthy Habitats and Healthy Crops.