Stay informed, aware of potential gun legislation
One of the measures passed this last week in our state legislature, then sent to the governor for consideration is House Bill 2307, of interest to those of us who hunt game animals in Arizona. Sponsored by Rep. Nancy McLain, R-Bullhead City, this bill would exempt any personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition made in Arizona and kept in Arizona from federal regulation as of Oct. 1. Firearms made and sold in Arizona would be stamped with "made in Arizona."
Might this possibly be the result of federal gun tax bills such as SB-2099 and H.R. 45 floating around now and making us very uneasy about protections offered by our Constitution and the right to own and bear firearms?
Evidently one of the latest rumors being circulated by e-mail to some of us about SB-2099 is false. It seems someone is recycling an old alert which wasn't even very accurate when it was to include new handguns under the National Firearms Act's tax and registration scheme. According to the latest NRA report, SB-2099 disappeared without any action by the Senate years ago. They suggest we all stay alert to other threats as they come along.
Congressman Paul Brown from Georgia came out with a report on H.R. 45, Barack Obama's Gun Control Package, that would establish a national gun registry database of every gun and its owner. It would include your private information and every gun you own.
If it would actually become law, we'd all have to pass a written exam including releasing our medical records to buy a gun to ensure our "fitness" to own a firearm, pay a $25 or more gun tax on all firearms purchased and observe a two-day waiting period before all firearms purchases.
Our job now is to stay informed and contact our Congressmen, both National and State — letters as well as e-mail work well — to be sure they know we want them to fight these and all anti-gun legislation being introduced. Don't put it off, do it now.
• Elk-antelope draw complete, results available: The 2010 draw for Arizona elk and antelope hunt permit-tags can be reviewed now at www.azgfd.gov/draw or by calling (602) 942-3000 to see if you've been drawn. Check the Web site for available leftover permits as well. For permit-tag information, be prepared to provide your department ID number, plus your birth date to access your specific draw information. Hunt-permit tags will be mailed to successful applicants no later than April 23 with refunds for unsuccessful applicants mailed at that time. Applications for leftover big game tags will be accepted by mail-only on or after 8 a.m. April 26.
• Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club: Don't miss getting your $20 ticket for the $16,000 Cash Raffle at the fair (today is the last day) with prizes: First place $10,000, 2nd $3,000, 3rd $2,000 and 4th $1,000. Call Paul Williams at 343-9099.
All sportsmen, women and families are welcome to attend the April 7 dinner meeting at 6:30 p.m. at American Legion, 2575 Virginia Dr. to learn about all the many outdoor activities enjoyed by members and their families.
Learn about the great Tri-tip and Chicken Fundraiser Buffet being held May 1st at Britain Farms with individual tickets $40 (Corporate sponsorship and sponsor tables with lots of incentives available). Buy your tickets by April 15 to get in on the early bird raffle. If you'd like to donate items for the raffle or place an ad in the event program, call Mike Brick at 783-9268.
• Don't move a mussel: Now it's the law for boaters in Arizona for waters infested with invasive quagga mussels including waters on the lower Colorado River below Havasu to the international boundary with Mexico to follow simple steps before leaving the water to prevent the spread of the mussels — this includes Yuma area waters and affects us all.
1. Remove plants, animals and mud from anchor, boat, motor and trailer; 2. Remove plug and drain water from bilge, live-well and any other compartments that hold water. Drain water from the engine and engine cooling systems; 3. Ensure watercraft, vehicle, equipment and trailer are dry completely; 4. Wait at least five days before launching someplace else to kill residual larvae not eradicated by the above three steps. If you use your boat again in less time, replace the bilge drain plug and disinfect the bilge by pouring in not less than one gallon of vinegar - the vinegar can be drained from the bilge upon arrival at home and can be re-used several times.
• Desert Bass Anglers — the fun way to fish: Check next week's column for latest tournament results or call Mac or Bobbi McDermott at 726-1984. The club reports that a plan has been proposed for the Laguna Diversion Conservation Area to remove 1,200 acres of salt cedar and other non-native species in the old river meanders between Laguna and Imperial Dams on the Arizona side of the Colorado River north of Mittry Lake. Planning activities are underway now with a proposed start of clearing and burning in 2011. Existing channels will be modified and new channels created to improve habitat diversity. There are no anticipated detrimental effects to Mittry Lake or other existing habitats along the old Colorado River channel. check the Web site http://www.lcrmscp.gov.
• American Bass: Sign up 4-6 p.m. (Friday, April 9) at Sportsmen's Hideaway or 1 to 2 hours prior to safe light Saturday at Fisher's Landing to fish that day's Team Tournament. Call Gabe Valdez at (928) 897-5691.
• Yuma Bassmasters: Attend Tuesday's meeting at 6 p.m. at Yuma River Marine with a report from Game and Fish along with plans for the April 17 Team Tournament on the agenda. Call Jeff Pacewic at 580-2031 or visit email@example.com or call River Marine at 783-6502.
• Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club: April 11 — IRS Bass Derby for members. Call Scott Melton at 446-6554.
• Yuma Pro/Am: Sign up April 12-17 at Sportsmen's Hideaway for the April 17 draw to fish the April 18 team tournament out of Fisher's Landing. Call Bob La Londe at 520-1270 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Jackpot Fishing Tournament: Pay $5 and sign up Tuesday at Fisher's Landing bar to fish Wednesday weekly competition beginning at 7 a.m. with weigh in at 1 p.m. at the gas dock. Use the $1 off coupon from sign up at the bar when fishing is done. Call Jimmy Phipps at 919-0376.
• Bass class on the water: Call Dave Willhide at 782-2621 and ask about learning to catch bass at Colorado River waters just like the pros in all seasons and conditions.
Call me to check on great shooting opportunities each week in the Yuma area at Adair Park as well as the Foothills Archery Range or check next week's column for an update.