Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
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Gun Lobby Supports Young Hunters

NRA, which has donated millions to state politicians, supports bill eliminating age limit.

By - Nov 2nd, 2017 01:20 pm
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Gun Lobby Supports Young Hunters. Photo from the WDC.

Gun Lobby Supports Young Hunters. Photo from the WDC.

A bill that is slated to be voted on in the Wisconsin Assembly this week would let anyone go hunting, no matter how young. That bill, AB 455, is supported by the powerful gun lobby.

Current Wisconsin law says you need to be at least 12 years old to hunt, unless you’re in a hunting membership program, in which case you can be as young as 10.

This bill would do away with all age restrictions so that anyone under 10 can hunt if that person is with a mentor.

It would also do away with the limit on the number of weapons that the mentor and the minor may carry.

Current law says that they “may jointly have only one firearm, only one bow, or only one crossbow in their possession or control while hunting.”

That restriction would go out the window.

The bill is supported by the two most powerful gun groups in Wisconsin: the National Rifle Association and the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association.

The NRA has spent about $3.6 million in Wisconsin since January 2008 on outside electioneering activities to support GOP and conservative legislative and statewide candidates, including about $23,400 on the legislative elections last fall. Nearly all of the NRA’s electioneering spending, about $3.5 million, was to support Scott Walker’s 2010 general, 2012 recall and 2014 general elections for governor. In addition, the NRA contributed about $69,600 between January 2008 and December 2016 directly to all legislative and statewide candidates.

The Bear Hunters boast nearly 3,000 members and operates a conduit, which is a legal check bundling outfit that may funnel an unlimited amount of individual contributions to legislative and statewide candidates. Since the Bear Hunters’ conduit began operating in 2000, it has funneled nearly $369,000 in large individual contributions of $100 or more to legislative and statewide candidates through 2016. Most of the contributions – about $265,400 or 72 percent – went to Republican candidates. The top all-time recipients of large individual contributions through the Bear Hunters conduit are the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, which raises money to help elect Assembly Republicans, $14,845, and Walker, $12,750.

Other pro-hunting groups in favor of this bill include the Safari ClubWhitetails of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin FORCE (Wisconsin Firearm Owners, Rangers, Clubs, & Educators, Inc.).

Only the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation has registered against this bill.

4 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: Gun Lobby Supports Young Hunters”

  1. Casey says:

    So…..taking your kid (mentoring) hunting with you is a bad thing?

  2. Andre says:

    Can’t wait for Show & Tell!

  3. will says:

    I went through hunter safety course when I was twelve years old. I would never take my kids hunting during the deer season with 600,000 hunters out during the 11 day hunt. I would gradually teach my children the rights and wrongs and dangers of hunting. The NRA has become only about selling more guns and ammo to more people, nothing to do with the ethics you instill in your children. It would be great to have future hunters all the responsibility to be a true hunter.

  4. Bill says:

    Anyone who can’t see that this is a bad idea is an idiot. If you think you can give a 7 year old a loaded weapon and nothing could possibly go wrong, good luck to you and those around you. Common sense…gone.

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