H.2400 An Act Relative to Youth Hunting Programs
The remainder of H.2400 GOAL’s Youth Hunting bill is in the House Committee on Ways & Means.
Part of this bill has already passed in this years state budget, (reducing the fee for an FID card down to $25 for anyone under 18 years of age).
The other issue covered by this legislation, and still to pass, is to allow a 14 year old to apply for an FID card which would be issued to the applicant when they are 15. Currently you need an FID card (issued at age 15) to hunt with a gun, but you are not allowed to even start the application process until you are 15 which results in many 15 year olds losing a part of, or an entire hunting season while they are waiting for their FID card to be processed.
This part of H.2400 still remains to be taken care of and hopefully we can get it moving soon.
7/22/11 Update - More Action Needed, please contact Ways & Means!
H.2400 Youth FID Bill H.2400 An Act Relative to Youth Hunting Programs was filed on GOAL’s behalf this year by Representative Anne Gobi. The bill was drafted to do away with the fees for Firearm Identification Cards (FID Card) for anyone under 18 years of age. It also will allow youths to apply at 14 years of age. Current law mandates youth hunters using a gun possess an FID card at age 15, but they cannot apply until they are 15. This often causes young hunters to miss out on a hunting season as they wait for their FID application to be processed. H.2400 would allow them to apply at 14 and then get the card when they reach 15, hopefully saving a lot of time.
The bill was released favorably by the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and currently resides in the House Committee on Ways and Means.
During the latest budget debates the fee portion of the bill was handled. While it was not completely done away with, it was reduced by 75% to $25. This should help cash strapped families get their young ones in the field enjoying our outdoor heritage.
As a result of the fee issue being more or less handled, GOAL is working with the House Committee on Ways and Means on the remainder of the bill. We are currently requesting the Committee amend the bill by dropping Section 3 (fee section) and allow the bill to move forward so we can expeditiously move the other two sections dealing with the application age.
Anyone wishing to help in GOAL’s efforts to move this bill can contact the members of the House Committee on Ways & Means and ask them to amend and release H.2400 with a favorable report.
7/13/11 Update. Success!
Youth Firearm Identification Fees Reduced by 75%
On July 11, 2011 the Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations Act (State Budget) was signed into law. This budget contained an outside section, Section 93, that amended the Firearm Identification Card law Chapter 140, Section 129B.
The amendment reduced the application fee for anyone under the age of 18 from $100 to now $25. “While this might seem like a small victory to some, this fee reduction shows a great change in the political leaning on Beacon Hill. Just a few short years ago there was no way that such a change would have taken place,” said Jim Wallace Executive Director of GOAL. “This change on Beacon Hill is a direct result of the hard work of our members in their efforts to educate their local legislators on the positive impact the shooting sports has on our youth.”
The fee reduction took affect the day of the signing of the budget, July 11, 2011. If anyone has any issues with licensing authorities not being aware of the reduction please contact the GOAL office.
GOAL would like to thank the legislators who supported this effort and especially Senator Stephen Brewer who sponsored the outside section.
Section 129B of chapter 140 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after clause (9B), as so appearing, the following clause:-
(9C) Except as provided in clause (9B), the fee for an application for a firearm identification card for any person under the age of 18 shall be $25, which shall be payable to the licensing authority and shall not be prorated or refunded in the case of revocation or denial. The licensing authority shall retain 50 per cent of the fee and the remaining portion shall be deposited into the General Fund. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, licensing authorities shall deposit quarterly that portion of the firearm identification card application fee which is to be deposited into the General Fund, not later than January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 of each year.
6/23/11 Update: At an executive session of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security the bill was released favorably. The bill was then sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means for consideration. At the same time during the Senate budget debate the fees for under 18 FID cards were reduced to $25. It would not be surprising if this was the amount that the House would also use if they move on the bill. We would ask all of our members to contact the House Ways and Means Committee and ask them to release H.2400 with a favorable report. We would like to see this bill acted on prior to the next hunting season.
4/5/11 Update: Thank you GOAL Members for responding to our request! Representative Anne Gobi received a great show of support in the amount of legilsators that signed onto her letter in regards to this bill. We look forward to moving this legislation forward in the process of becoming law!
Please thank these legislators for signing onto the letter in support of this legislation!
Anne M. Gobi 5th Worcester, Michael O. Moore 2nd Worcester, Bradford Hill 4th Essex, James Arciero 2nd Middlesex, Todd M. Smola 1st Hampden, Bruce E. Tarr, 1st Essex and Middlesex, Kimberly N. Ferguson 1st Worcester, Smitty Pignatelli 4th Berkshire, Richard T. Morre, Worcester & Norfolk, George N. Peterson Jr. 9th Worcester, Michael J. Rodrigues, 1st Briston & Plymouth, Stephen Kulik 1st Franklin, Jennifer Flanagan Worcester & Middlesex, Marc T. Lombardo 22nd Middlesex, Geoffrey G. Diehl 7th Plymouth, Ann-Margaret Ferrante 5th Essex, Kate Hogan 3rd Middlesex, Garaldo Alicea 6th Worcester, Jennifer Benson 37th Middlesex, Donald F. Humason Jr. 4th Hampden, Carolyn C. Dykema 8th Middlesex, John W. Scibak 2nd Hampshire, Matthew A. Beaton 11th Worcester, Randy Hunt 5th Barnstable, Susan Williams Gifford 2nd Plymouth, David T. Vieira 3rd Barnstable, Daniel B. Winslow, 9th Norfolk, Sarah K. Peake 4th Barnstable, Timothy R. Madden Barnstable Dukes & Nantucket, Joyce A. Spiliotis 12th Essex, Steven L. Levy 4th Middlesex, Bradley H. Jones Jr 2oth Middlesex, Michael R. Knapik 2nd Hampden and Hampshire, Marc R. Pacheco 1st Plymouth & Bristol, John J. Bidienda 17th Worcester, Vinny de Macedo 1st Plymouth, George T. Ross 2nd Bristol, Nicholas A. Boldyga 3rd Hampden, Angelo L. D'Emilia 8th Plymouth, Kevin J. Kuros 8th Worcester John J. Mahoney 13th Worcester, Richard Bastien 2nd Worcester, Cleon H. Turner 1st Barnstable, Paul W. Mark 2nd Berkshire, Denise Andrews 2nd Franklin, F. Jay Barrows 1st Bristol, Stephen L DiNatale 3rd Worcester, Ryan C. Fattman 18th Worcester, Elizabeth A. Poirier 14th Bristol, Paul K. Frost 7th Worcester, Donald H. Wong 9th Essex, Peter V. Kocot 1st Hampshire, Angelo J. Puppolo Jr. 12th Hampden, James R. Miceli 19th Middlesex, Shaunna O'Connell 3rd Bristol, Katherine Clark Middlesex & Essex.
3/28/11 Please help!
State Representative Anne Gobi, of Spencer, is preparing to send a joint legislator's letter to the Joint Committee on Public Safety in an attempt to expedite H.2400 "An Act Relative to Youth Hunting Programs." This bill was filed on behalf of GOAL by Rep. Gobi. The bill seeks to address a few of the hurdles that have been placed in front of our youth who are trying to enter into the hunting and shooting sports. A copy of the letter and the legislation can be found below.
What can you do to help?
Please contact your state senator and representative and ask them to sign on to this letter. The deadline for signing on is 5:00 pm, Friday, April 1, 2011. Legislators can sign on to the letter by contacting Rep. Anne Gobi at 617-722-2210.
Please contact your local legislators today and help our youth take part in their precious American heritage.
Click here for legislature contact information.
Dear Chairman Timilty and Chairman Naughton,
We the undersigned urge the Joint Committee on Public Safety to favorably release H.2400 An Act Relative to Youth Hunting Programs as soon as can be accomplished. H.2400 seeks to remove some obstacles facing our youth who are seeking to participate in their outdoor heritage.
The first problem H.2400 seeks to fix is the age of application for a Firearm Identification Card (FID Card). Under the current laws of the Commonwealth, once a youth reaches the age of 15 they must have acquired an FID Card if they wish to hunt with a shotgun or rifle.
The problem with this law is that a person must be 15 years of age before they are eligible to apply for said card. Since the application process can take several weeks or months, many Commonwealth youngsters miss an entire hunting season waiting for the required FID Card. H.2400 would offer a solution to this problem by simply allowing persons to begin the application process once they reach the age of 14 years. The age for receiving the FID Card would still remain at 15, but the application process would be able to be completed prior to the required age.
The second hurdle facing youth hunters in Massachusetts is the exorbitant cost of applying for an FID Card. Under the current law the fee for such application is set at $100.00. This fee is simply too much to ask from our youngsters who are most likely trying to save for college. As a result, H.2400 seeks to remove the fees for an FID Card for anyone under the age of 18.
While we are all well aware that the state is having financial difficulties, we must look at the removal of these fees for young hunters as an investment in the future. Currently, nearly all of the funding for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife comes from the sale of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses. Millions of dollars in license fees and other funding sources supported by sportsmen directly fund this agency. In the last decade alone, Massachusetts sportsmen and women have provided approximately $100,000,000 to fund professional wildlife management. This is money that would have to come from our general fund to finance this agency’s operations should we not take the opportunity to invest in those that will provide it willingly in the future?
Again, we urge the Joint Committee on Public Safety to favorably release H.2400 as soon as possible and help the Commonwealth invest in our youth and the future of professional wildlife management.
H.2400 An Act Relative to Youth Hunting Programs
SECTION 1. Section 129B of Chapter 140 shall be amended by deleting subparagraph (v) of paragraph (1) and inserting in its place the following: (v) is at the time of the application less than 14 years of age; providing said card shall not be issued until the applicant reaches the age of 15.
SECTION 2. Section 129B of Chapter 140 shall be amended by deleting in subparagraph (vi) of paragraph (1) the following: “at the time of the application more than 15 but”
SECTION 3. Section 129B of Chapter 140 shall be amended by deleting paragraph (10) and inserting in its place the following: (10) Any person under the age of 18 and 70 years of age or older shall be exempt from the requirement of paying a fee for a firearm identification card.
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