Hunting coalition files appeal on California youth marketing law
On March 10, the Sportsmen’s Alliance, Safari Club International and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation appealed the denial of a preliminary injunction against a California statute that prohibits the "marketing" of firearms and firearm accessories to minors.
The law, created with passage of AB 2571 in August 2022, put many youth-related hunting and education programs at risk due to the draconian penalties for violating the statute, including fines of up to $25,000 per occurrence.
The appeal filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals seeks to overturn the federal district court’s denial of a coalition-requested preliminary injunction to put the law on hold while the underlying Constitutional questions can be reviewed and decided upon. The Sportsmen’s Alliance and its partners cite clear violations of the 1st and 2nd Amendments by the law, which muzzles the free speech of conservation and hunting organizations when they engage in youth education and the promotion of hunting and firearm use that "may be attractive to minors."
"We look forward to the hearing on the preliminary injunction and hope that the 9th Circuit can see its way to understanding how many problems this law creates," said Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. "We know Gov. Newsom wants to destroy our hunting heritage by making it impossible to recruit new hunters, but we remain hopeful that the court sees this law for what it is, a law replete with violations of the Constitution that should not survive scrutiny."
In response to the new law, the Sportsmen’s Alliance has been unable to expand its high school conservation curriculum, Conservation Science, into California, and has had to produce separate, censored copies, of its membership magazine at great cost for our members in the state.