Editor’s Note: Today’s feature first appeared in our companion service, The Archery Wire. In her feature, Mia Anstine explains why it’s important for hunters to get involved in the battles over gun rights.
Hunters need to stand together now more than ever to preserve our traditions and freedoms. I recently wrote an op-ed in opposition to H.R. 8, the supposed universal background check law. Later, the House GOP invited me to speak at a press conference on Capitol Hill where the bill then passed the House with a 240 -190 vote. We have to tell our Senators to vote NO on this and other feel-good bills.
I grew up with a family who hunted to put food on the table. We also lived down a dirt road, far from town and had guns as a means of protection for us and our livestock. I still live in a rural area, hunt, and have animals. This way of life isn’t one that the masses understand. For that reason, I’ve become an instructor and work to share hunting, shooting, and the outdoors with others.
I teach basic firearms, archery, and hunter education classes. I also help with youth competitive shooting teams. H.R. 8 is a threat to these activities. If a youngster competing in a Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) competition and she only has a bow, I won’t be allowed to lend her, her parents, or the coach a shotgun, unless I’m present at the event, or I run a background check on them.
In Colorado, we already have a universal background check law, which has done nothing to reduce crime. Our law, and H.R. 8, has many shades of gray. While a grandparent will be able to loan a hunting rifle to their grandchild, an uncle won’t be allowed to loan one to his niece. A step-father won’t be allowed to loan to their step-child.
There are exemptions for hunting written into H.R. 8. As an outfitter, I may loan my gun to a client for “a reasonable length of time.” Some hunting seasons are months long — Is that a reasonable length of time?
I’ll have to run a background check on my neighbor whose animals are being threatened by predators, or friend who has a stalker. Then he/she can “borrow” my gun, except then it becomes his/her gun. To return the firearm, they’ll have to run a background check on me. With H.R. 8 if we don’t follow these rules, we’ll both become felons.
We all have to stand against these types of laws, and if you’re an archer who thinks it won’t affect you, know that they’re attempting to ban the National Archery in the Schools program in the state of New York. Your state could be next, or like these universal background check laws, it could go national.
The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting; It’s designed to save us from tyranny. Universal background check laws will never be universal because criminals don’t obey the law. It will instead cause law-abiding citizens to become criminals.
I urge you to not to solely rant on social media but to contact your Senators now. Tell them to VOTE NO on H.R. 8 and other bills that threaten to dismantle our constitution.
Follow this link to contact your Senators now.
-- Mia Anstine
Follow Mia at http://MiaAnstine.Com Listen to her podcast “MAC Outdoors” on iTunes, Stitcher and more.