The California Fish and Game Commission voted to approve a petition submitted by NRA and CRPA attorneys seeking to allow big game archery hunters to carry a firearm for the purposes of self-defense while in the field. Current regulations only allow small game archery hunters with a valid CCW to possess self-defense firearms while in the field, which was also prohibited until the Commission approved a similar petition by NRA and CRPA attorneys a couple of years ago.
While the petition raised legal issues with the regulation, its main purpose was to show that restricting law-abiding archery hunters from carrying arms to defend themselves is simply dangerous public policy. Hunters often find themselves alone and isolated. Not having adequate means to protect themselves from predators and criminals puts them in danger. This is especially true with the increase of illegal marijuana grows in popular hunting areas, which are often patrolled by armed gang members willing to violently defend their crops.
NRA and CRPA would like to thank the Commission for taking this important step in hunter safety and protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens by changing this restriction. It is welcome news for all California archery hunters and their families who want them to come home safely from doing what they love.
Be aware, however, that the Commission’s decision does not change the restriction as applied to deer hunting. A state statute outside of the Commission’s control prohibits any person other than specified law enforcement from carrying a firearm of any kind while archery hunting for deer. NRA and CRPA are working together to change that statute so that all archery hunters can exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Continue to check your inbox and the California Stand and Fight web page for updates on issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage in California.