Previous Post
Next Post

By Joe Bartozzi

California and New York have among the nation’s strictest gun control laws. The governors of each state often brag about forcing even more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners rather than getting tough on criminals who ignore those laws.

Both states have bans on the nation’s most popular and commonly-owned semiautomatic rifle, the modern sporting rifle (MSR). Both are in the legal spotlight for overstepping the Constitution and face myriad court challenges.

There is one area where the two states on opposite sides of the country couldn’t be more different and in the case of New York, it’s worthy of praise.

New York’s Newest

For all the bad gun control legislation the New York state legislature rams through, they did pass a three-year youth hunting pilot program in 2021. The law allowed the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to create a county opt-in program allowing 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt deer with an experienced adult mentor in eligible areas of the state. It also required the DEC to study each of the three years of youth hunting and report back to the state legislature. The data from the recently concluded second year is back and it’s promising.

“Once again, DEC is hearing from families across the state who were thrilled to share their traditions of hunting and wildlife conservation with younger family members,” New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos reported.

grandfather grandpa son granson hunting birds Pheasant upland

After the recently concluded youth hunting season, surveys show good signs. More than 9,400 12-and 13-year-old hunters in New York, representing nearly 9,200 families, participated. Those youth hunters submitted more than 1,800 deer harvest reports, more than the first year of the program.

When the law passed, five downstate counties surrounding New York City were excluded and only Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz vetoed his county legislature in Upstate New York after they voted to allow the youth program. Poloncarz stated in his veto message that youth hunting presented an “inherent danger” citing sparse incidents of hunting accidents.

The data from DEC’s recent report, as well as other media reports about New York hunters’ exemplary record of safe hunting, make it clear the “inherent danger” Poloncarz feared is all for naught.


“DEC’s review of data collected also shows youth hunters followed safety guidelines and showed both respect for wildlife and their fellow hunters while afield. I’m proud to see that New York’s environment is in good hands with this next generation of environmental stewards,” Seggos remarked.

The next generation of New York hunters are flourishing and should be celebrated.

The Worrisome West Coast

The situation in California could not be any more opposite or concerning for the future of hunting. Hunters are already the target of an anti-hunting, anti-science legislature that imposed a ban on the use of traditional lead-based ammunition. Forcing hunters to use more expensive and hard-to-find alternatives creates difficult economic hurdles for hunters, especially young hunters wanting to take up America’s greatest pastime.

Those obstacles aren’t enough for California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom who is constantly looking for more ways to attack the lawful firearm industry and the businesses supporting the exercise of the Second Amendment.

Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The most recent attack on the future of hunting in California came in the form of AB 2571, Gov. Newsom’s broadside on the hunting and shooting sports industry that imposes $25,000 civil fines on “firearm industry members” for advertising “any firearms-related product” in a way that could be seen as “appealing to minors.” He even deemed WEE1 Tactical’s “JR-15” .22-caliber youth learning rifle a “weapon of war” when he announced his bill. That legislation passed last year and the repercussions were immediate.

The California State High School Clay Target League saw the governor’s attack and couldn’t take the risk of continuing operation. “As a school-based activity serving students from 6th-12th grade, these provisions serve to outlaw the very name and existence of the California State High School Clay Target League,” the group posted on its website.

Again, safety had nothing to do with Gov. Newsom’s law, as the league’s president John Nelson told The Reload. “The League is the safest sport in high school. Over 1,500 schools across the nation have approved our program. Hundreds of thousands of students have participated, and there has never been an accident or injury.”

Gov. Newsom has faced legal challenges and fierce pushback on his crusade against youth shooting sports.

Cultivating a new generation of responsible, educated and safe hunters and recreational target shooters is critical to preserving the traditions of America’s greatest pastime. It’s also crucial for educating young Americans in the lessons of conservation, responsible and law-abiding gun ownership and respect for the entire Bill of Rights. New York and California, even while passing strict and unconstitutional gun control laws, show what and what not to do to encourage these young Americans in their pursuits.


Joe Bartozzi is the President and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. As a lifelong native of CA, I’m so embarrassed of what’s happened to our once-great State. The soapbox is moot (silencing via Big Tech on platforms), the ballot box is corrupted and the cheating is codified into law, and the jury box doesn’t guarantee protection of our rights due to even more corruption.

    How many boxes are left? Bueller??

    • @Haz:
      Thank you for clarifying our politically rigged situation.
      Some of the posters here refuse to believe your words
      to be true. When Harry Dangler (W J Clinton) “ won” his
      second term “by a landslide”, I asked 200 of my Left
      Coast fellow travelers how they voted. THREE admitted
      that they voted for him. Even with a 50% error rate, that
      would have been pure fantasy! We’re doing all we can do
      to escape this ghetto of hell.
      Now the Democrooks refined the election-throwing software…
      their candidates only always win by a slim margin. Looks almost
      Forget those bales of tea. Throw those voting machines

      • Clinton didn’t win in a landslide. By popular vote, he never got a majority (which doesn’t matter when electing a President). Ross Perot got 18% in ’92 and 8% in ’96. It’s debatable whether Perot pulled enough votes away from H.W. Bush that he could have won otherwise.

        • Correct. By definition, Clinton won by a plurality, not a majority. If I recall correctly, he garnered 42% of the total votes.

  2. The smile on the kid with the ducks shows you everything you need to know. Somewhere, there is a picture of a 9 year old me standing next to my Grandpa with his rifle and my first rabbit – life changing, that moment.

  3. The repercussions go even further, and these new laws have nothing to do with safety but are an out an out effort to eliminate new hunters, and eventually hunting in the State. The Boy Scouts have halted all traditional shooting activities at Boy Scout Camp. Minors cannot possess semiauto centerfire rifles or handguns. Bolt actions and shotguns are allowed, but the loan must be by a parent, guardian, grandparent or with the written permission of such persons.

    If it goes on long enough, I have to wonder who they will hire, and at what cost, to cull the overpopulations of deer and other species.

    • @Mark N:
      Greetings from California (Soon to be officially West New Jersey).
      In our Woke-A-Zoic burgh, our Clownty Supervisors have authority over a small, beautiful island chain. University of California Super-Geniuses declared that the pigs that the Spaniards left hundreds of years ago absolutely MUST be eliminated. I guess to bring the islands back to Their Woke Garden Of Eden Academic standards.
      I’d FED an orange to one of those monsters while out there working on the County radio repeaters. Yum!
      Stupidvisors hired and flew in “Professional” hunters from NEW ZEALAND instead of us locals (who would have paid for the adventure)! Took them about a month.

      There must be something in the water out here. Nothing makes the least bit of sense…

      I may be paranoid, but them guys are all STILL chasing me!

  4. Upstate NY has a very vibrant hunting culture, worthy of praise for sure. And actually, lots of gun ranges and politically engaged 2A folks. Some are FUDDs, but many aren’t. The state is so far left, however, that only the courts have a real chance of repairing decades of leftist assaults on the bill of rights.

    • Sadly exactly right there is no voting our way to liberty in NY but legal fees for the moment are better than the alternatives.

  5. As a midwesterner I’m sure my duck, deer or turkey calling would be a total failure. I just cant seem to get that yankee accent down.
    Gobble gobble yous fucken toykee, come ere yous needs ah tune up.

    • Possum….. I like you. you can be phunny, but I take um bridge @ bein’ called a “You’s.”’s ‘YOOOz’ (Like ‘YO- with oooooooz!) my favorite marsupial ….and the mental image of a possum usin’ a duck caller just has me rollin’ on the floor ( mentally since I don’t have any real legs anymore) I don’t tussel with da perp’s anymore, I jus’ kick ’em to det w/ my titanium feet!

      ..and it’s “c’mere u phucker’s” ! “Bang! Stop or I’ll shoot! (again) Your way makes us sound like a bloody Brit….and dat I jus’ can’t abide sarc

  6. As leftward as NY has fallen there’s one thing their government understands – how to squeeze money out of the rubes…er, citizens. California obviously doesn’t care how much it costs to be as woke as inhumanly possible. Say what you will about crooked Empire State pols, unlike the brain dead zealots on the Left Coast, when you buy ‘em they stay bought.

  7. Actually wouldn’t hunting in California lead to a possible wildfire?
    Muzzle blast or sparks from a ricochet and 10,000 acres go up in flames?
    That state burns every year, I wouldn’t hunt there.

    • Rob S, I don’t think that any muzzle black or “sparks from a ricochet” ever started any fires anywhere let alone Cali?

    • Sparks from ricochets only happen in Hollywood movies.
      Unless you’re using titanium-tipped ammo, which is rare, but LeHigh Defense manufactures it. The titanium-tipped ammo is only useful for steel matches, as it’s designed to make hits on steel targets easily visible to spotters by creating bright sparks on impact. Don’t use titanium-tipped bullets in an area prone to wildfires, they warn.

      Contrary to what Hollywood might make you believe, titanium-tipped ammo is not armor-piercing and won’t damage long-range steel targets. Now, if you shot it at a 100-yard steel target, it would do some damage, but it’s designed for long-range steel, not short-range steel.

  8. They only cite 3 years of youth hunter safety in New York? The idiots have 300+ years of data to draw on! Kids have been hunting with their daddies since Caveman Ogg picked up his first sharp stick! New York has written history to examine, to find how many teen and pre-teen hunters have been careless, or stupid, or even criminal.

    The numbers aren’t zero, but they sure are close to it. People who grow up with weapons tend to respect weapons.

  9. I believe every parent should take their children out into the woods and make sure they dont have any hidden bread crumbs.
    30° below zero is a good time to go on an exploring nature hike.
    Come on kids, no just bring your sweaters we parents wont be gone that long, now hurry hurry.

  10. Our site offers unique services for writing high-quality and original works of any complexity. We also offer free corrections and edits to meet all your requirements and wishes. . Order your essay or doctoral dissertation from us and get a great result without too much effort and time consuming.

Comments are closed.