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California Senate To Vote On Sweeping Gun-Control Measures

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Democrats in the California Senate plan another attempt to outlaw the sale of assault weapons with easily detachable ammunition magazines known as bullet buttons as part of a wide-ranging slate of gun control bills scheduled for votes on Thursday.
Nearly a dozen measures would significantly reshape California’s gun laws, already among the strictest in the nation, following last year’s terrorist attack in San Bernardino. The debate comes as Democratic legislative leaders rush to head off a ballot measure advocated by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, which would ask voters to enact many of the same policies the Legislature is now set to debate.

Under California’s assault-weapon ban, most rifles must require a tool to detach the magazine. Gun makers developed so called bullet buttons that allow a shooter to quickly dislodge the ammunition cartridge using the tip of a bullet or other small tool.
Outlawing bullet buttons is a priority for gun control advocates, who hope that making it harder to reload would limit the carnage a mass shooter can inflict. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown in 2013 vetoed the Legislature’s last attempt to ban bullet buttons, saying it was too far-reaching.
The debate has fallen along familiar lines, with Democrats advocating a crackdown on guns in the name of safety and Republicans complaining that gun laws only hinder people intent on following the law.

“We raise our children in communities, not war zones,” said Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael. “Military assault weapons have no place on our streets and gun violence must not be tolerated.”

Limiting access to firearms and ammunition is dangerous at a time when the Legislature and voters are easing some of the strict sentencing laws from the 1980s and ’90s, said Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber.

“We’re going easy on the real dangerous people. Now with these bills we’re criminalizing the law-abiding people,” Nielsen said.

Aside from the bullet button ban, senators plan to consider 10 other gun control bills. They include regulations for homemade firearms, background checks for ammunition purchases, a ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds, a mandate to report lost or stolen guns, a ban on loaning firearms to friends, and funding for a gun-violence research center.
The debate in the Senate comes as Newsom, a Democrat running for governor in 2018, is advocating a November gun control ballot measure. Some Democrats worry the initiative will fire up gun rights supporters, potentially increasing turnout of conservative voters.
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, wrote to Newsom last month asking him to hold off on his initiative and allow lawmakers to tackle the problem. He declined.

By Staff, CBSlocal.com

Blaze pink and lead ammo: Minnesota House backs hunting bills

ST. PAUL — Minnesota hunters will have more fashion choices and still be able to use lead ammunition on many public lands if two bills approved Wednesday by the House become law.
Lawmakers backed blaze pink as an alternative to the blaze orange safety color hunters now wear. They also voted to stop the state Department of Natural Resources from banning the use of lead ammo in select wildlife management areas.

The GOP-controlled House already voted on both measures Monday night as part of broader legislation related to fish and game. But with the companion bill in the Democratic-led Senate possibly stalled, the House voted to pass the two measures as independent bills.
Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party members used the legislative redundancy to slam Republicans, with Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, calling it embarrassing.
“You can’t get anything done that actually means something to the people of Minnesota,” Thissen said before being cut off.

State Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, who is chief sponsor of both the hunting-related bills, said he may update his fish and game legislation that passed Monday, meaning lawmakers might see the two issues yet again before the session ends.

Allowing pink hunting garb could make it harder for deer to see hunters stalking them, Hackbarth explained before Monday’s vote. Blaze pink is now allowed as a safety color in Wisconsin, where it was also suggested it might attract more women to hunting, an argument that upset female hunters.

Some DFL lawmakers suggested blaze pink could be unsafe because some of the roughly 8 percent of the male population that is color-blind can’t see it. Blaze orange is also difficult for some color-blind people to see.

Fewer than 1 percent of women are colorblind, according to the National Eye Institute.
Hackbarth said the lead ammo bill would stop an overreach by the Department of Natural Resources. The DNR planned to use its rulemaking authority to ban hunters from using lead ammunition in certain wildlife management areas because of its possible toxicity.
“I just think that’s wrong,” Hackbarth said.

Both bills have companion measures in the Senate, and Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, is a co-sponsor of a bill to stop the lead ammo ban.

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.

By Christopher Magan, Dglobe.com

No closed season on coyote hunting

The coyote has extended its range through out Michigan, including the cities and suburbs. This very clever, adaptable and prolific predator has also extended its range to the lower contiguous states and Mexico. There have been problems with coyotes creating a perceived threat to humans as they roam into heavily populated residential areas in search of prey such as dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels, etc. They have long been a problem in rural areas because of predation on poultry, sheep, calves and piglets and farmers were allowed to shoot them at any time if they were preying on livestock. Now anyone can hunt them during the summer as well as throughout the year, day or night. The season wasn't the only thing extended. Now a wide variety of firearms, including rifles, can be used to assure cleaner effective kills in order to curb the increase of the coyote population. For specific information on the extended legal hunting of coyotes, consult the DNR Hunting Digest or go online to MichiganCoyoteHunting.com.

Coyotes take a heavy toll on the deer herd by killing the small and vulnerable fawns, most of which are slaughtered in the first three months of life. The coyotes have ample food and prey heavily on pheasants, rabbits and other small game. Turkeys have somewhat of an advantage since they roost in trees but young broods are vulnerable until they can fly to safety. If wild game is scarce, coyotes prey heavily on pets such as small to medium sized dogs, feral cats, pet cats hunting for mice and kittens.

The expanded coyote season should help reduce this marauding population of killers but numbers of coyotes will probably increase because of this very cunning and intelligent animal being able to adapt to conditions and live in close proximity to humans.

If you see a brindle drab-colored animal that does not carry his tail above his back-line, it's probably a coyote. They look like small to medium sized German Shepard dogs and like Shepard's have erect erect pointed ears. However, coyotes sometimes run with wild dogs and also inter-breed with dogs to produce a hybrid known as a coydog. Coyotes hunt in packs, essentially the family unit. The males are somewhat monogamous and help the female in teaching the pups to hunt. The parents will sometimes bring the pups a weakened fawn, rabbit or cat to kill in order to teach them the lust for killing. They are great hunters and teach their offspring as they run in a pack.

If you hunt, look for a den site, usually a hole in ground on a slope facing south. You can set up a bait pile of carrion or entrails to lure them out into the open but they learn fast. You can call at such a site if you're down wind down wind and stealthy. If your call is bad or excessive, the coyotes will know its a set-up and will avoid showing themselves. It's best to hunt with a friend or two since coyotes will circle around a perceived threat but will not know there is another hunter present. Coyotes prowl more at night so that's a dodo time to be out. You can use artificial light.

You might really enjoy coyote hunting. Perhaps you can acquire a varmint rifle with a scope and practice your marksmanship in the "off season."

Perhaps you can see if the festival committee in your town wants to do a varmint hunt this summer and encourage people to enter the competition.
If you want to help the deer herd flourish, take up coyote hunting and make man the top predator in the ecosystem; not coyotes. For the benefit of better deer hunting, put a coyote in your crosshairs!

By Len Jenkins, thedailyreporter.com