By Annie Burnham
Hunters are protesting the recent gun-control laws passed by the Colorado legislature, according to the Washington Times. People from all over the country come to Colorado each year to take advantage of the hunting in the fall, but in light of recent gun-control legislation, hundreds of reservations are being cancelled by hunters.
Colorado’s hunting industry brings in $1.8 billion in profits each year, but due to the looming boycott, small hunting lodge towns and other hunting industry companies will suffer dramatically this year.
Michael Bane, a Colorado resident and executive producer for the Outdoor Channel, is supporting the boycott efforts and even encouraged boycotters this week. “You are crazy to come to Colorado,” said Bane on his Wednesday talk show on Down Range Radio. “It’s not worth the risk. Spend your money where your culture is. Colorado doesn’t want you here.”
Republican state senator Greg Brophy emphasized the impact this will have on the economy in Colorado. “Gun control proponents failed to take into account the outrage the bills would provoke, particularly in a western state with a strong history and culture of gun ownership,” said Brophy. “The timing is also bad, given that hunters are now placing their names in the lottery for hunting tags in the fall.”
The state has already suffered from losing gun accessories manufacturer Magpul Industries Corporations recently. The financial implications will continue to surface in anticipation of July 1 when the bills go into effect.
State Park officials have tried to reassure hunters that the new restrictions will not impact them or hunting elk, one of the main reasons people hunt in Colorado. Though the Parks and Recreation Department has assured hunters will not suffer any legal issues, Bane warns hunters to stay away.
“[Colorado] is now issuing statements, like, ‘No, really, hunters, we won’t arrest you. We’re not going to arrest you, unless we do,’” Bane said. “No matter what the Division of Parks and Wildlife says, those murky areas they refer to can cost you everything you ever wanted and all your rights for owning firearms forever and ever and ever. It’s not worth the risk.”
Denver Post writer, Scott Willoughby, covered some of the benefits of boycotters sticking to their guns, so to speak. “If those jaded sportsmen from out of state and right here at home really do follow through with their threats to never spend another penny on hunting and fishing in Colorado, well, the hunting and fishing just got a lot better for those who do participate.”
Students and alumni: What do you think of the call for boycotts by hunters? Are these efforts sending a message to law-makers in Colorado, or are they hurting businesses that cater to hunters? Let us know what you think.