Dave Henderson: Maybe we'd better take this bill seriously
December 4, 2008 Ever since the early 1970s, whenever downstate Assemblymen rattled sabers and proposed radical anti-gun or anti-hunting legislation, we could count on the conservative Senate Republican majority to block it.
That was then.
The scene changed dramatically on Nov. 4. Now the outrageous stuff coming out of the Assembly has some credence on the other side of the aisle. The Democrats — and that means the New York City mentality — have the majority in both houses. Except for four swing votes, they have pretty much carte blanche.
That's why the fact that the Assembly has bought into a national crusade known as the Ammunition Accountability Act is suddenly a legitimate threat. New York, Pennsylvania and 16 other states have already enacted legislation that would mandate the engraving of a unique serial number on the base of each handgun and “assault weapon” bullet, and an identical number on the cartridge's case. The act calls for dealers of this “encoded ammunition” to record the purchaser's name, birthdate, drivers license number, etc.
All non-encoded ammunition must be disposed of prior to Jan. 1, 2011. The database and other expenses involved would be paid for by a special tax of a half-cent per round of ammunition sold.
Don't believe it? Read the whole thing in Assembly Bill 10259, which was introduced last March (without a co-sponsor at the time). It mirrors A6920, A7300 and Senate companion bills S1177 and S3731, all of which were carried over from 2007.
Pennsylvania's House Bill 2228 is a virtual twin to the New York bills. Remington and other ammunition manufacturers earlier this year went on record stating that they couldn't afford to sell in those states that required serialization of cartridges because manufacturing would be cost prohibitive. One assumes that this is precisely what the anti-gun folks want.
The Act's national lobby maintains (and each New York bill carries this wording) that 30 percent of all homicides that involve a gun go unsolved and that handgun ammunition accounts for 80 percent of all ammunition sold in the United States.
For that 80 percent figure to be true, it must include .22LR ammunition, since rimfire sales volume just about equals all centerfire calibers combined. Since hunting and competition handguns of various forms can be chambered for a wide variety of centerfire rifle cartridges, the potential list of ammunition effected is gigantic.
Ever since 1993, Canadian citizens have been required to obtain a personal identification number before they could purchase hunting or fishing licenses in Ontario. Next year, the province is extending that privilege to non-residents, requiring them to purchase an Outdoor Card with a personal number on it in order to purchase sporting licenses.
The card, which will cost $9 Canadian, will be good for three years. Then, apparently, you can buy another.
Ontario plans to move to a fully automated system by 2010 that will allow everyone to purchase licenses via the Internet or a toll-free automated phone service, using the Outdoor Cards.
Cayuga Lake fishing conditions: Conditions remained largely the same as last week, except that salmon runs in Fall Creek, Salmon Creek and Six Mile may be slackening somewhat. Anglers are still finding fish, and they are susceptible to streamers and weighted eggsacks. Lake fishing has slowed dramatically with the colder weather. Perch fishing at the north end has slowed, just as it did a couple of weeks ago throughout the rest of the lake.
Henderson is The Journal's outdoors columnist; his columns appear on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He can be reached at Henderson's Outdoors, 202 Prospect St., Endicott, NY 13760 or email@example.com.