List Of Bills Impacting Wildlife Resources In North Carolina

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has compiled a list of bills that will impact fish and game in the state. Other than the Castle Doctrine and the repeal of the crossbow purchase permit requirement, the biggest thing I see in this list is that the wild boar has been reclassified as feral swine.

While the Russian Boars that were imported to western North Carolina at the beginning of the 20th Century and their descendents are still out there, I imagine that interbreeding with domestic swine has diluted the purity of that bloodline to the point where they are no longer any different than your run of the mill wild hog. I haven’t read the testimony on the bill that changed the law but think that is probably the case.

Senate Bill 109 / Session Law 2011-15 “Spending Cuts for the Current Fiscal Year”

Required N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to return $3 million in 2010-11 funding.
Effective: 3/25/2011

House Bill 200 / Session Law 2011-145 “Appropriations Act of 2011”

Repeals current sales tax formula for Wildlife Resources Commission funding and appropriates $18 million for the 2011-2012 fiscal year for Commission operations. Also requires a continuation review for the Conservation Education section.
Effective: 7/1/2011

Senate Bill 686 / Session Law 2011-176 “2011 Appointment Bill”

Appoints the following to the Wildlife Resources Commission: Wendell Murphy, Jr., Thomas Berry, Mark Craig, Doc Thurston, John Clark, John Coley, Durwood Laughinghouse, Mitch St.Clair.
Effective: 7/1/2011

House Bill 762 / Session Law 2011-231 “Landowner Protection Act”

Defines written permission to hunt/fish on posted land as being signed and dated by the landowner/lessee/agent within the past twelve months. If permission has been granted to a hunt club, both permission and a membership must be on the person. Allows for an affirmative defense if someone had written permission but did not have it on their person. Allows for purple paint to be used for posting land. Wildlife officers are enabled to enforce trespass on site.
Effective: 10/1/2011

House Bill 29 / Session Law 2011-22 “Retrieval of Big Game”

A hunter may use a portable light source and a single dog on a leash to assist the hunter in retrieving a dead or wounded big game animal. A hunter may dispatch a wounded big game animal using only a .22-caliber rimfire pistol, archery equipment or a handgun legal for that season. Pursuit and retrieval may occur between 30 minutes after sunset and 11:00 p.m., but may not be accomplished using a motorized vehicle.
Effective: 10/1/2011

Senate Bill 406 / Session Law 2011-56 “Repeal Crossbow Purchase Permit Requirement”

Repeals the requirement that a person obtain a permit to receive, sell, purchase or otherwise transfer a crossbow.
Effective: 4/28/2011

House Bill 62 / Session Law 2011-24 “Prohibit Boylston Creek Reclassification”

Prohibits the rule to change the water quality classification to “trout waters” on Boylston Creek from becoming effective.
Effective: 7/1/2011

Senate Bill 68 / Session Law 2011-16 “Robeson Hunting and Fishing”

Prohibits hunting and fishing on the property of another without written permission in Robeson County.
Effective: 10/1/2011

House Bill 432 / Session Law 2011-369 “Swine in Transport/Regulate Feral Swine”

Prohibits the transportation of live swine, unless the swine has an official form of identification approved by the State Veterinarian. Also classifies all free-ranging mammals of the species Sus scrofa as feral swine, while deleting the definition of wild boar. Repeals the wild boar hunting license and defines feral swine as a non-game animal. Allows the Wildlife Resources Commission to adopt rules prescribing season and the manner of taking of wild animals and wild birds with the use of artificial light and electronic calls. Deletes the size restriction on pistols for non-game species, rabbits, squirrels, opossum, raccoons and fur-bearing animals. Repeals the requirement of wearing a hunter orange cap or garment in the hunting of feral swine. Makes it unlawful to remove feral swine from a trap, or transport it, while it is still alive.
Effective: 10/1/2011

Senate Bill 46 / Session Law 2011-32 “Surry Fox and Coyote Taking Season”

Establishes an open season for taking foxes and coyotes with lawful weapons or traps from October 15 through March 1 of each year. Applies only to Surry and Alleghany counties.
Effective: 4/7/2011

Senate Bill 261 / Session Law 2011-40 “Chowan Fox Seasons”

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, there is an open season for taking foxes with weapons and by trapping during the trapping season set by the Wildlife Resources Commission each year, with no tagging requirements prior to or after sale. No bag limit applies to foxes taken under this act.
Effective: 10/1/2011

House Bill 463 / Session Law 2011-136 “Rockingham/Taking of Foxes”

Establishes an open season on taking foxes with firearms, bow and arrow, or crossbow during any open small game season each year. Establishes an open season for taking foxes by trapping from November 1 through February 28 of each year. No bag limit applies to foxes taken under this act. No tags shall be required for the sale of the fur of foxes taken in accordance with this act.
Effective: 6/15/2011

House Bill 755 / Session Law 2011-380 “Study Fox Laws”

The Wildlife Resources Commission shall undertake a study of fox and coyote populations in the State and recommend management methods and controls designed to ensure statewide conservation of fox populations while managing adverse effects of coyote populations. In conducting the study, the Wildlife Resources Commission shall solicit input from interested stakeholders, including hunters, trappers, controlled hunting preserve operators, public health authorities, local governments, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and private landowners. The Wildlife Resources Commission shall complete its study by April 1, 2012, and submit a report, including any proposed legislation, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Chairs of the House Committee on Agriculture, and the Chairs of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources.
Effective: 6/27/2011

House Bill 650 / Session Law 2011-268 “Amend Various Gun Laws/Castle Doctrine”

Amends numerous State laws related to the ownership and possession of guns. It would also expand the “Castle Doctrine” to apply to a motor vehicle or the workplace.
Effective: 12/1/2011

House Bill 350 / Session Law 2011-274 “Property Tax Conformity for Conservation Land”

Clarifies and modifies the tax exemption for real property for educational and scientific purposes as a protected natural area by listing certain, enumerated conservation purposes. Creates a 5-year rollback for avoided taxes if conservation property is no longer used for conservation purposes, is used to generate income inconsistent with conservation, or is sold or transferred without an easement requiring perpetual use of the listed conservation purposes and without a prohibition on income generation. Expressly aligns definitions for educational and scientific purposes with the property tax exemption for property used for educational and scientific purposes. Requires, as does the income tax credit for real property donations for conservation purposes, that the entity owning the property must be “organized to receive and administer lands for conservation purposes”. Adds the requirement that property qualifying under this exemption either not earn income or only earn income that is merely incidental to and not inconsistent with conservation purposes.
Effective: 7/1/2011

House Bill 159 / Session Law 2011-35 “Military Service Notation on Licenses”

Requires the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles to make a notation on a North Carolina driver’s license showing a license holder’s military veteran status.
Effective: 7/1/2011

House Bill 407 / Session Law 2011-68 “Modify ATV Helmet Use Requirements”

Amends the ATV helmet law by requiring people 18 years old and over to only wear a helmet and safety gear when on a public street or highway or public vehicular area. Mandatory helmet and eye protection for under 18 years of age both on and off road.
Effective: 10/1/2011

William Newell, Whistle-Blower?

William Newell had been the Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division and was slated to become the ATF Attache to Mexico. His appointment to the U.S. Embassey in Mexico and his position as SAC of the Phoenix Field Division ended when Project Gunwalker exploded into the national consciousness. As one of the principals behind this so-called attempt to bring down a Mexican drug cartel, it appeared that he would be one of the fall guys.

Newell must have been speaking with George Gillett, former Assistant SAC of the Phoenix Field Division, who abandoned ship earlier this year and became an official whistle-blower. Gillett, who was also deeply involved in Operation Fast and Furious, saw the writing on the wall. Now it is obvious that Newell did too.

Buried within the usual gun control drivel of the House Oversight Committee Democrats’ report “Outgunned” was this tidbit.

Committee staff also conducted a transcribed interviewed of William Newell, the former Special Agent-in-Charge of the Phoenix Field Division. When asked how the lack of a firearms-trafficking statute impacts his work, he stated:

So when you have a firearm that’s taken from lawful commerce into unlawful commerce, that technically is the definition of firearms trafficking, by my understanding or under our definition. So, not having a statute that would address a pattern of activity by a group of individuals that are engaged in some form of diversion of firearms from legal to illegal creates a situation for us where we have to go and look at each individual transaction by a particular purchaser.

What Newell said is actually irrelevant. That he was interviewed by investigators of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is relevant. According to the footnote, he was interviewed on June 8, 2011. It does not say whether his interview was given under whistle-blower status or whether he was served with a subpoena.

From a strategic standpoint, I’m not sure how smart it was on the part of the Democrats to let the cat out of the bag that Newell had been interviewed. He becomes the highest ranking ATF official so far to go on record about Operation Fast and Furious. Knowing that Newell has testified makes it less likely that Acting Director Kenneth Melson will hold back when he is interviewed in July by House and Senate investigators.

If the goal of Rep. Elijah Cummings and the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee was to divert attention from the poltical higher-ups in the Justice Department – who were all put there by the Obama Administration – then they have just failed. If Kenneth Melson is the John Dean of Project Gunwalker, then what is Bill Newell? The Charles Colson or G. Gordon Liddy?

A Forum And Then A Report? Not For Elijah Cummings

In the normal course of events, a group holds their hearing, forum, or fact-gathering event and then issues a report even if that report’s “evidence” is pre-ordained. That obviously is just too slow for Rep. Elijah Cummings and the Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who are holding their forum at 10 am this morning.

Thanks to the Washington Post and their admitted plagarist Sari Horwitz, we now have the “report” from the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee. You see if you write for Pravda on the Potomac and you are needed to attack Project Gunwalker, you get your copy of the so-called report before the rest of us whose tax money paid for it. If you were to check the Minority page of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s website, you would not see this report.

Screen Capture Taken at 8:05 EDT On Thursday, June 30th

You can see the “report” embedded below. Next time you’d think their mainstream media mouthpieces might wait until the actual forum had been held. Jeez!

Firearms Report 063011(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

H/T Mike Vanderboegh

Gottlieb On Cummings’ Forum – “It’s a Capitol Hill kangaroo court”

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Alan Gottlieb don’t think much of the “forum” that Rep. Elijah Cummings has planned for Thursday. And I think most people will see it for what it is – a smokescreen, a diversionary tactic, a whitewash to take the attention off of Project Gunwalker.

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said Thursday’s planned forum on gun trafficking, called by Democrat Congressman Elijah Cummings, is a political smokescreen designed to shift blame for a botched gun sting operation from the Obama administration to this country’s gun owners, retailers and their firearms civil rights.

Cummings, ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has held hearings on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Operation Fast and Furious, has invited a Who’s Who of anti-gunners to speak at this forum, which begins at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Russell Senate Office Building, Room 428A.

“This isn’t a forum,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “It’s a Capitol Hill kangaroo court with the singular goal of deflecting public attention away from the Justice Department’s horrible mishandling of a gunrunning sting that has flooded Mexico with guns. Operation Fast and Furious is a product of the Obama administration, and Cummings is running interference for the White House and Attorney General Eric Holder.

“The real culprits here are the ATF officials and people in the Justice Department who either approved this operation or knew about it and allowed it to happen, and everybody knows it,” he continued. “Operation Fast and Furious allowed guns to get into the hands of people who murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and countless Mexican citizens, including a prominent attorney.

“But Cummings isn’t interested in pursuing the truth,” Gottlieb stated. “With a speaker lineup that includes anti-gun Sen. Charles Schumer, Kristen Rand from the Violence Policy Center and Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke – and nobody representing any major gun rights organization or any of the ATF whistleblowers – this forum is a flimsy sham with one clear purpose. Mr. Cummings wants to whitewash a Justice Department debacle and blame the mayhem in Mexico on gun rights, gun owners and gun dealers.”

Get Really Good At Halo Reach – Make Six Figures – Who Knew?

Well, actually I did know because two of the Complementary Spouse’s nephews play Halo Reach professionally for teams in Major League Gaming (MLG Pro).

Today’s New York Daily News featured a story on a Halo Reach “boot camp” held in New York City and sponsored by Red Bull. The boot camp was for 12 players from 3 of the top MLG Pro teams. As to the money, Mike Chaves aka Flamesword had this to say:

“People make money from this, like six figures,” says Mike Chaves, better known in the gaming community as Flamesword, his gamer tag.

The e-athlete grew up playing video games in Bergen County, N.J. Once he realized there was serious coin in going pro, however, he upped the ante, practicing every day after school and traveling to tournaments on his own dime.

Today, the 21-year-old IT student is a professional gamer sponsored by Red Bull in the Major League Gaming circuit. His team, Status Quo, split $20,000 after taking first place in a Dallas championship in April. (Chaves wisely tucked most of his share into his savings account.)

You don’t get this good without a lot of practice. Aaron Elam, who also plays on Status Quo, had this to say about his schedule.

“I just graduated from high school, and it was really tough. Professional gaming is a full-time job,” says Elam, who enters the University of Kentucky next year. “A lot of gamers sign on late at night, so that’s when you have to play. Your sleep gets sacrificed a lot. You come home from school, work out, do your homework, play video games from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., and then go to bed.”

You probably are wondering how a kid who games so much late at night even graduated from high school  much less got into college. Actually, from what I’ve seen, the top gamers are really bright and are not slackers. I think they are able to assess the situation quicker and thus outplay their opponents. Aaron, who is the Complementary Spouse’s nephew, is not only going to UK but is going on a scholarship and will be majoring in chemical engineering.

NRA President David Keene On Gunwalker, Obama, and Elijah Cummings

New NRA President David Keene was on Cam and Company today. Among the items discussed were Project Gunwalker, Elijah Cummings’ forum tomorrow, and Barack Obama’s election chances.

Keene did make a very good point about Project Gunwalker. He said “the ATF did not do this on their own – as crazy as they can be – without orders from above but also without informing those above.” He goes on to say that one thing bureaucrats always do is protect themselves.

Ruger SR-40c Released

Sturm, Ruger has followed up on the release of their SR-40 from last fall with the the compact version SR-40c.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to announce the introduction of the Ruger® SR40c™ pistol. The SR40c is the compact version of the recoil reducing, striker-fired SR40™ pistol, one of the slimmest and most ergonomic full-sized .40 caliber pistols on the market today.

The SR40c is based on the same high-performance glass-filled nylon frame as those used on the popular SR9®, SR9c™ and SR40 pistols, offering the same, great ergonomic features, including a slim frame, short trigger reach, reversible backstrap, and ambidextrous controls. The SR40c features a through-hardened, stainless steel or alloy steel slide with Nitridox Pro Black finish. Serrations on the front portion of the slide make it easier to manipulate the slide and press check the chamber.

“The SR40c provides all of the benefits of a full-sized handgun without the recoil often associated with smaller .40 caliber pistols,” said Mike Fifer, Ruger CEO. “The SR40c offers yet another strong concealed carry option from Ruger, perfect for personal protection or law enforcement plain clothes and backup applications,” he continued.

The Ruger SR40c pistol has a 3.5″ barrel and an overall length of 6.85″. The pistol weighs 23.40 oz. and features a height of 4.61″, with the same slim 1.27″ grip width (across safety levers) as the full-sized SR40. It has a fully adjustable 3-dot sight system and an integral accessory rail that accommodates most lights and lasers. The SR40c offers modern safety features such as a visual and tactile loaded chamber indicator, striker blocker, trigger safety, magazine disconnect and an ambidextrous, frame-mounted manual safety.

The SR40c ships with two magazines that provide options in both capacity and grip size. The standard magazine holds 9 rounds and features a flat bottom butt plate; a finger grip extension floor plate included. The second magazine features a grip extension and holds 15 rounds, instantly transforming the smaller, compact grip into a full-sized grip. An anti-friction coating is applied to the magazine body to reduce the force required to load the magazines to full capacity.

For customers living in states or locales where magazine capacity is limited by law, an SR40c that ships with two, 9-round magazines is offered.

Jeff Quinn of has released a video review of the SR-40c. He likes it and he likes the size of it.

While I do have a couple of semi-auto .40’s, I have to admit that I’m just not a big fan. As with all caliber choices, it is a matter of personal preference. I like 9mm and .45 ACP better. That said, I’m sure Ruger will sell a ton of these pistols to those who like the caliber.

In the interest of full disclosure, I own stock in Sturm, Ruger (RGR). It is one of the two publicly-traded firearms companies in the United States.

Diversionary Tactics (Updated)

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has come through on his promise to hold hearings on gun control and the ATF. If you will remember from the June 15th hearing into Operation Fast and Furious, he said he would be exercising his right for a Minority day of hearings. From Cummings’ opening statement:

Finally, no legitimate examination of this issue will be complete without analyzing our nation’s gun laws, which allow tens of thousands of assault weapons to flood into Mexico from the United States every year, including .50-caliber sniper rifles, multiple AK variants, and scores of others, some of them landing in neighborhoods like mine, the one I represent in Baltimore. When Mexican President Calderon addressed Congress in May, he pleaded for us to stop fielding a full- scale drug war with military-grade assault weapons.

In order to explore these issues further today, I’m exercising my right under the rules, Mr. Chairman, of the House for a minority day of hearings with several witnesses who will testify about these issues in great detail. I did not think it was necessary to call these witnesses for today’s hearing, but I will work with the chairman on scheduling these hearings in the near future.

Those hearings are scheduled for tomorrow at 10am EDT according to reports in the Houston Chronicle and the website Main Justice. From the Houston Chronicle:

★ Thursday: Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, will hold a forum on the flow of illegal guns on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. The forum will be held at 10 a.m. EDT in the Russell Senate Office Building.

Rep. Cummings has not posted a release or notice about the hearings on the House Oversight Committee’s website. However, Main Justice had this to report on the hearing speakers:

Speakers at the minority hearing will include Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), a retired ATF agent, and several gun control advocates.

 It seems Cummings is keeping a tight lid on just who the “retired ATF agent, and several gun control advocates” are. If I had to make an educated guess, the retired ATF agent is probably “Waco Jim” Cavanaugh who just last week had an op-ed in TickleTheWire saying that the ATF director should be not be subject to Presidential appointment and subsequent Senate confirmation. Among the gun control advocates will probably be Paul Helmke in his last hurrah before he leaves as head of the Brady Campaign. Of course, this is just speculation.

This “hearing” will be just another in the diversionary tactics being employed to divert attention from Project Gunwalker and on the “need” for more gun control. The Washington Post’s ridiculous editorial from Sunday could also be put in this category. For a less diplomatic description of the hearings, I think Mike captures it with his headline here.

UPDATE: Well, I was right about Paul Helmke being there but wrong about “Waco Jim”. The complete list of people “testifying” is below:

Senator Charles Schumer (NY)
Michael R. Bouchard, former Assistant Director Field Operations, ATF
Thomas Mahoney, Assistant State’s Attorney Supervisor, Gang Prosecution Unit, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
Eric Olson, Senior Associate, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Kristen Rand, Legislative Director, Violence Policy Center
Paul Helmke, President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Colby Goodman, Author of “U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico: New Data and Insights Illuminate Key Trends and Challenges”

  Cummings says the aim of the forum – which I suppose means the testimony is not sworn – will be:

Law enforcement officials have testified that improvements to our nation’s gun laws are needed to address this increasingly devastating problem, including enhanced penalties for illegal straw purchases, the enactment of a firearms trafficking statute, and a reporting requirement for the purchase of multiple long guns, such as fifty caliber assault weapons and multiple AK variants.

Cummings will issue a report with recommendations to provide U.S. law enforcement with the tools needed to address gun trafficking.

Recent editorials in the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times reiterate the need for basic, common-sense improvements to assist law enforcement officials counter violence by international drug cartels operating along the southwest border.

You have to wonder if the testimony would be the exactly the same if it was sworn and perjury charges could be brought.

Mike has more on the witnesses and their background especially former ATF official Michael Bouchard.

More On S. 1249 – Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act

While the text to Senator Mark Udall’s S. 1249 is still not available, I was able to find his release on the bill which gives a broad outline. All in all it looks like a good bill.

Here in western North Carolina we are surrounded by Federal lands with two National Forests, one National Park, and TVA maintained land. In many of the counties, the amount of Federally owned land reaches 90%. Even with all that Federal land, there is one public range maintained by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and three (and maybe a fourth) maintained by the USFS in Nantahala National Forest. There are none that I can find in Pisgah National Forest which borders the largest city in western North Carolina – Asheville.

Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Today, Mark Udall re-introduced legislation to help states construct and maintain safe public shooting ranges. The bill, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, would help ensure that there are enough accessible ranges where hunters and marksmen can safely practice recreational shooting.

Under current law – the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act – an excise tax is collected on sporting equipment and ammunition, which states can use for activities such as wildlife restoration and hunter education programs. However, it has limited effectiveness in establishing and maintaining shooting ranges, which are declining in number. Udall’s Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, co-sponsored by Senators Jim Risch, Michael Bennet and Jon Tester, would amend the law to give states more flexibility to use existing funds to create and maintain shooting ranges.

“The number of places in our communities and on public lands where Colorado sportsmen and women can safely shoot and target practice has steadily dwindled,” Udall said. “This bill would give states more flexibility to use federal dollars – that have already been allocated to them – to create safe, new public places to shoot. It would be a triple win for sporting and conservation communities: states can create higher quality and safer shooting ranges, more Coloradans can take up the sport, and it would generate more money for future conservation and hunter education efforts.”

Udall’s bill would:
• Increase the amount of money states can contribute from their allotted Pittman-Robertson funds to 90 percent of the cost to improve or construct a public target range from the current limit of 75 percent. This would reduce local and state matching requirements from 25 percent to 10 percent.

• Allow the Pittman-Robertson funds allotted to a state to remain available and accrue for five fiscal years for use in acquiring land for, expanding, or constructing a public target range on federal or non-federal land. Under current law, states must use these funds within one year.

• Limit the legal liability exposure to the federal land management agencies regarding the management and use of federal land for target practice or marksmanship training.

• Encourage the federal land management agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain target ranges on federal land so as to encourage their continued use.