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Two Pro-hunting Bills Boost Michigan’s <br> Hunter Numbers and Economy

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Fairfax, VA – Governor Granholm signed into law SB 1105 and HB 5192, two NRA-backed bills to help recruit new hunters in Michigan. 

SB 1105, sponsored by Sen. Michelle McManus, R-Leelanau, establishes a mentored hunting program that allows prospective sportsmen to hunt with an adult who is a licensed, experienced hunter.  HB 5192, sponsored by Rep. Scott Hummel, R-DeWitt, lowers the minimum ages for small game and big game hunting from 12 to 10 years old and 14 to 12 years old, respectively.  These young hunters are also eligible for the newly established mentored hunting program.

NRA Chief Lobbyist, Chris Cox stated, “Many prospective hunters don’t have the opportunity to experience hunting because their busy lives keep them from investing the time and energy it takes to complete the required hunter education course.  These new laws allow prospective hunters to learn first-hand the joys and challenges of taking to the field in pursuit of game.  We hope this experience will encourage them to become life-long sportsmen.”

Annually, Michigan’s sportsmen and women spend over two billion dollars while tax revenue generated to the state totals over $130,000,000.  Michigan’s new mentored hunting program and lowered age restrictions will expand the state’s hunter spending. 

Prior to these two bills becoming law, Michigan had some of the most restrictive hunting laws in the country, resulting in the lowest hunter recruitment rate in the U.S.  For every 100 hunters lost in Michigan today, only 26 hunters are replaced.

Mentored hunting is proven to be the safest form of hunting in those states with programs.  Thirty states across the country have no minimum hunting age and boast better safety records than those with minimum age restrictions. 

Cox concluded, “The hard work of Sen. McManus and Rep. Hummel will help preserve the state’s rich hunting tradition.”

--nra—

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group.  Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime.  The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services.

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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.