The New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife has approved plans for the first New Jersey black bear hunt in 33 years, scheduled to take place in December 2003, in the rural northwestern part of the state. The limited hunt was scheduled in response to a dramatic rise in the number of unprovoked black bear attacks on humans, which are the result of an exploding bear population, a shrinking habitat, and a growing trend of aggressive, predatory behavior by black bear toward humans. Members of the NRA and its state affiliate, the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, turned out in force to support the hunt at five public hearings over the past year, outnumbering anti-hunting activists three to one. The hunt is seen by many in the Garden State as an urgently needed public safety measure. Up to 10,000 permits will be issued to hunters who have passed a bear hunting class.
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.