Keeping sportsmen in the know about happenings in Sacramento and Washington DC.

Gun Regulation Bills Keep Piling Up at State Capitol 

They are at it again! Never satisfied with the myriad of gun regulations and associated costs that hunters and other law-abiding gun owners already must endure in California, State Legislators have introduced more gun control bills.  


Worst of these is Senate Bill (SB) 1160 (Portantino), which would require the annual registration and payment of a fee for all firearms. Bill Text - SB-1160 Firearms: annual registration of firearms. (


This bill will be CWA’s no. 1 priority to kill this Session. Rather than enhancing public safety, it would only constitute another disincentive to hunt and own firearms. Just another bill to harass gun owners—many of whom own dozens of firearms—by requiring registration and fees for each gun owned. The bill also encourages information sharing between law enforcement agencies, and citizens who don’t register their guns could face a fine up to one thousand dollars.


Amongst other gun control bills, there is also:


SB 53, also introduced by Senator Portantino, would require that all firearms in a residence be secured within a Department of Justice (DOJ) approved locked box or safe. Failure to use a DOJ approved lock box or safe will result in fines and misdemeanor conviction. Bill Text - SB-53 Firearms: storage. ( This bill has no exceptions for personal protection or pest management, for example. Violators would be prohibited from possessing a firearm for one year after a misdemeanor conviction.


Assembly Bill (AB) 3067, introduced by Assembly Member Gipson, would require homeowners or rental insurance providers to ask the homeowner/renter about the presence, storage, and total number of any firearms. The collected information must be provided annually to the Department of Insurance and State Legislature. Bill Text - AB-3067 Residential property insurance: firearms. (


CWA will be opposing all of these bills in coordination with other sporting groups.  

CWA Supports DFW’s Public Lands Package


For the last several months, CWA has supported a regulatory package put forth by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) which would increase public hunting opportunity and access, including:


  • Allow boats with electric motors to be used during the waterfowl hunting season on Lake Earl Wildlife Area in Del Norte County

  • Adding El Dorado Wildlife Area (Type C) in El Dorado County and Peace Valley Ecological Area in Los Angeles County to the list of public lands available for public hunting.


  • Adding new deer and valley quail hunting opportunities at Los Banos and North Grasslands Wildlife Areas in Merced County

  • Adding new valley quail hunting opportunities at the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area in Butte County

  • Creating new hunting opportunities at Chorro Creek (San Luis Obispo County), Burton Mesa (Santa Barbara County), Boulder Creek/Rutherford Ranch (San Diego County) and Boden Canyon (San Diego County) Ecological Reserves


The CA Fish and Game Commission voted to approve the Public Lands package at its February 15th meeting in Sacramento, at which CWA provided supportive testimony. It will take effect for the 2024-25 hunting season. 

Bill to protect wetlands from negative impacts of SGMA advances


AB 828, introduced by Assembly Member Connelly, is a CWA supported bill to protect public and private wetlands under conservation easements from the negative impacts of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), has advanced through the California State Assembly to the California State Senate. Bill Text - AB-828 Sustainable groundwater management: managed wetlands. (


As currently written, AB 828 would require those who are managing California’s valley ground water resources to provide a baseline water allocation equal to the average wetland water use on these areas from 2015-2020. Many groundwater dependent wetlands, especially in the San Joaquin Valley, are facing severe water shortages as a result of groundwater allocation plans that reduce their historical water use to fractions of the necessary amounts. 

Further, AB 828 would prevent groundwater basin managers from applying exorbitant fees for groundwater management administrative costs on these public and private wetlands, as these costs are also likely to create hardships for the property owners and wetland managers. 

In January the bill was heard in the Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee, and subsequently passed the Appropriations Committee and a full floor vote to advance to the Senate. This bill, which is also supported by a number of other wetland conservation organizations, will have its next hearing in the June 2024 timeframe.

2024 Resource Bond Negotiations Underway But Proceeding Slowly

Conversations in the Legislature on a 2024 resource bond proposal are underway but are proceeding slowly. There are two resource bond proposals on the table, one in the Assembly and one in the Senate. They both currently propose a $15.1B bond covering investments in water, climate, wildfire, and clean technologies. 


CWA is advocating for funding dedicated to the Pacific Flyway, including private landowner incentive programs like SHARE and Presley, and other state wetlands enhancement programs. We are working in a coalition with other migratory bird partners, including Audubon California, The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, and others. The Governor has indicated he is supportive of a bond but would like to see a smaller (but undefined) sized bond that would be presented to voters on the ballot. We anticipate the speed of conversations to accelerate after the March 5th Primary Election date, when the focus will turn more towards the November General Election.

H.R. 6854 to Fund Waterfowl Breeding Habitat Projects

On February 14th, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries, held a legislative hearing on a critical piece of legislation for CWA and our partners at Delta Waterfowl, H.R. 6854 (a.k.a. the HEN Act).


This bill would authorize a grant program at the Department of the Interior to do two things: 1) create a grant program that would provide funding for building and placing hen houses in the Prairie Pothole region and 2) create a grant program to provide funding for voluntary actions by landowners in California’s Central Valley to improve nesting cover and create brood ponds for waterfowl.


Both grant programs would be funded at $1.5 million per year over a 5-year period. CWA believes the grant program focused on California would complement our own state waterfowl programs that have a breeding habitat component, including the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program and Presley Program. In doing so, it would especially benefit our local mallard population.


The bill, which was introduced by Congresswoman Fischback (R-MN), Congressman LaMalfa (R-CA) and Congressman Thompson (D-CA) has bipartisan support and multiple members of the House Natural Resources Committee made positive statements about it during the hearing. A legislative hearing is the first step in the congressional process and will hopefully be followed by a markup sometime this spring, after which it will be ready to be taken up by the full House of Representatives. 

Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations

Congress can’t get its act together as it pertains to funding the government for fiscal year 2024 – quick side note that fiscal year 2024 began on October 1st, 2023. At the time this update was written, a partial government shutdown seems imminent. The current short-term funding patch for the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) expires on March 8th and while Congress has made progress on the funding totals for many of the agencies at the Department of the Interior, policy riders - or extraneous appropriations of funds, continue to be a point of contention getting in the way of bipartisan agreement. 

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