Trapping animals for the sale or use of fur is now illegal in California, the first state to implement such a law. The fur-bearing animals protected by this law include grey fox, coyote, beaver, badger and mink.
Previously, trappers were required to obtain a trapping license, but the state claims that the licensing system had become unwieldy. Apparently, the state issued only 133 trapping licenses and four fur dealer licenses in 2017, generating only $16,000 in revenue for the state. “Not only does the cruel fur trapping trade decimate our increasingly vulnerable wildlife populations, running this program doesn’t even make fiscal policy sense,” Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D), author of the legislation, said in a statement. “Taxpayers are subsidizing this unnecessary commercial activity because the cost of managing this program isn’t even covered by the revenue from trapping license fees.”
Despite bobcat numbers growing steadily throughout the state and country, after the passage of Assembly bill 1254, touted as being part of a package of bills promoting “animal welfare” and “fighting animal cruelty,” the “trophy hunting” of bobcats will be illegal for the next five years and possibly longer, unless state wildlife officials approve a plan to preserve the animals’ overall population. This means that under most circumstances, hunting, trapping or killing a bobcat is prohibited, with exceptions allowed for:
This law will stay in place for at least the next five years. After that, state wildlife officials will have the option of reopening the hunting season with regards to bobcats. …However, as most of us who keep our eyes on such matters have noted, the chances of Fish and Game reopening a once-closed season is small. Further, in order for the season to reopen, the Legislature will have to appropriates funds specifically earmarked to satisfy conditions imposed by the bill. These conditions include performing studies, which are estimated to cost $2.5 million, and setting tag fees sufficient to recoup the costs. As a point of reference, the current revenue from bobcat tags amounts to approximately $35,000 a year, less than 2% of the estimated cost of reopening a season.
The necessity of this bill is in doubt as opponents (a large majority of whom are part of the hunting world,) pointed out that while during the 2017/2018 hunting season (the last season for which there is comprehensive data,) the Department of Fish and Wildlife issued just shy of 12,000 bobcat tags, but only 331 animals were actually taken. These opponents also note “The harvest rate of bobcats is so low – not because bobcats are scarce – but rather because bobcats are shy and secretive by nature, and because of the severe restrictions already in place on how and where they can be taken.”
California continues to be one of the most aggressive states with regards to protecting wildlife from hunting and trapping. In 1990, it became the first state to ban mountain lion hunting, the state enacted a trapping ban initiative in 1998, and the hunting of bear and bobcat hunting with hounds was outlawed in 2011.
 This language is considered a politically-motivated addition to the law, as neither hunters nor the state Fish and Game Code considers bobcats “trophy animals.”
 See Fish and Game Code 4157
 The studies will look to the potential impacts of a bobcat hunting season, including the effects on all of the following: (1) Bobcat populations, (2) Bobcats’ wild prey, (3) Disease abatement, including, but not limited to, hantavirus, and (4) The control of invasive species, especially nutria.
 A copy of the letter of opposition can be found here: https://www.calwaterfowl.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/AB-1254-SNRW-Coalition-Ltr-Oppose-6-7-19.pdf
With recent school-shootings in the news, now might be a good time to talk about CA's laws regarding the possession of firearms on school property.
The Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 controls most of the law surrounding a person's ability to bring a firearm onto a school zone, which is defined as a zone of 1000 feet surrounding and including "an area in, or on the grounds of, a public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades one to 12." That Act made it illegal to bring a firearm into a school zone under most circumstances, with exceptions being made for those with permission from school officials.
In 2019, it them became illegal for school workers, or anyone else who previously had permission, to bring guns on campus, even if that person has a concealed carry permit. Prior to this change, the Gun-Free School Zone Ac allowed districts and county education offices to make their own determinations into whether qualified civilians could carry a firearm on campus. This change in the law still allows firearms to be brought to a campus for (1) certified hunter education programs (as long as the firearms are unloaded and participants do not possess live ammunition in a school building,) (2) programs that involve shooting sports, and (3) activities that are sanctioned by a school district that occur on district property.
Firearms possessed by peace officers, honorably retired peace officers with valid concealed carry permits, and authorized security guards are still allowed to carry a firearm. Further, firearms are still allowed to be used at an existing shooting range, and any firearm technically can be on a campus if it is an unloaded handgun and is in a locked container or within the locked trunk of a vehicle.
If you have. question about gun laws, feel free to contact Devina.
Effective January 1, 2020, several changes to California Criminal law will the place. Below is a quick snapshot of the changes.
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