SACRAMENTO, Calif. – August 31, 2022 – A new law in California that prohibits the advertising of firearms to minors had unintended consequences on the sporting community. But, thanks to productive conversations between Ducks Unlimited staff and the Governor's office, much-needed clarity has been provided on the bill's application.
Assembly Bill 2571, passed on June 30 of this year, was intended to prohibit the firearm industry from advertising or marketing any firearm-related product in a manner that is designed, intended, or reasonably appears to be attractive to minors. But the broad scope of the legislation left it open to interpretation, potentially prohibiting the marketing and promotion of youth-firearm safety, youth-shooting sports and youth-hunting and hunter-education programs, among others.
As amended, the law will have a much narrower scope, specifying exactly what types of advertisements are prohibited, while allowing well-intentioned promotion of educational, hunting and competitive shooting programs to continue. The new law will go into effect immediately upon the Governor's signature.
"We thank the Governor's office for their attention to this matter and for working with Ducks Unlimited to clarify this law," said Dawan Lee, California Ducks Unlimited Youth and Education Chairman. "As an advocate for youth shooting programs, I am encouraged this will help promote a safe, educational and healthy environment for our youth to learn competitive shooting. This change will also help the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Ducks Unlimited's shared goals of recruiting, retaining and reactivating new hunters through existing R3 programs, and that's great news for conservation."
The revised law comes at a time when the state of California is attempting to actively recruit young hunters through the California Fish and Wildlife R3 Program, and embrace the educational value of youth shooting courses for the benefit of hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation.
The updated language reads as follows:
This subdivision does not apply to a communication offering or promoting any firearm safety program, hunting safety or promotional program, firearm instructional course, sport shooting event or competition, or any similar program, course, or event, nor does it apply to a communication offering or promoting membership in any organization, or promotion of lawful hunting activity, including, but not limited to, any fundraising event, youth hunting program, or outdoor camp.
For more information, visit www.ducks.org, and be sure to Follow DU's Twitter feed – @DucksUnlimited and @DUConserve – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.