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AB-2523 Fish and Game Commission: youth hunting program.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/06/2020 09:00 PM
AB2523:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 06, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2523


Introduced by Assembly Member Gray

February 19, 2020


An act to add Section 318 to the Fish and Game Code, relating to hunting.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2523, as amended, Gray. Fish and Game Commission: youth hunting program: special hunting permits. program.
Existing law delegates to the Fish and Game Commission the power to regulate the taking or possession of birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, and reptiles, except as provided. Under existing law, a hunting license grants the privilege to take birds and mammals. Existing law requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife to issue tags and validations that are required in addition to a valid hunting license to take specified birds and mammals.

A violation of any provision of the Fish and Game Code is a misdemeanor, unless otherwise specified. An existing provision of the Fish and Game Code makes it a crime to submit, or conspire to submit, any false, inaccurate, or otherwise misleading information on any application or other document offered or otherwise presented to the department for any purpose, including obtaining a license or permit pursuant to the Fish and Game Code.

This bill would authorize require the commission to establish a program to increase opportunities to hunt big game, upland game birds, and migratory game birds for youth with terminal illnesses and youth who lost a parent in service to the state or country. As part of the program, the bill would, among other things, authorize the commission to establish a special hunting permit, in lieu of appropriate tags or validations, that authorizes a youth hunter to take big game, upland game birds, or migratory birds and to authorize a youth hunter to engage in hunting activities that are otherwise prohibited and that are necessary to enable the youth hunter to hunt those animals. The bill would require special hunting permits to be issued free of charge by the department and would require an applicant for a special hunting permit to hold a valid hunting license. country, as defined, and would require the commission to report any findings to the Legislature and the Governor on or before January 1, 2022, on the progress of the program.

Because submission of false, inaccurate, or otherwise misleading information in a special hunting permit application to the department pursuant to these provisions would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YESNO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 318 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

318.
 (a) (1) The commission may shall establish a program to increase opportunities to hunt big game, upland game birds, and migratory game birds for youth with terminal illnesses and youth who lost a parent in service to the state or country.

(b)As part of the program authorized by this section, the commission may do, but is not limited to doing, all of the following:

(1)Establish a special hunting permit, in lieu of appropriate tags or validations, that authorizes a youth hunter to take big game, upland game birds, or migratory game birds, or any combination of those species.

(2)Authorize a youth hunter to engage in hunting activities pursuant to a special hunting permit, established pursuant to paragraph (1), that are otherwise prohibited by the code or regulations adopted pursuant to the code and that are necessary to enable the youth hunter to hunt big game, upland game birds, or migratory game birds. The commission may do, but is not limited to doing, any of the following in a special hunting permit:

(A)Authorize a youth hunter to hunt big game, upland game birds, or migratory game birds outside of established seasons for those animals or in areas otherwise closed to hunting, or both.

(B)Waive any requirements on the take of antelope, deer, or elk with regard to antler point restrictions.

(C)Waive any restrictions on the method or means of taking big game, upland game birds, or migratory game birds.

(3)Require an applicant for a special hunting permit issued pursuant to subdivision (c) to submit, as applicable, signed documentation from a licensed medical doctor verifying that the applicant has a terminal illness or documentation of a parent’s service records.

(4)Impose any terms and conditions necessary to implement the special hunting permit.

(5)Require the department to notify applicants of depredation permits issued pursuant to Sections 4181 and 4181.5 of available options for allowing access to youth hunters to hunt the animals that would otherwise be taken with the depredation permit.

(c)As part of the program authorized by this section, the commission shall do all of the following:

(1)Require a special hunting permit authorized pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) to be issued by the department to a youth hunter upon application to the department. The department shall specifically describe the species that may be hunted and the scope of the hunting activities authorized in each special hunting permit.

(2)Require an applicant for a special hunting permit to hold a valid hunting license.

(3)Limit the validity of a special hunting permit to a term of one year from July 1 to June 30, or, if issued after the beginning of that term, for the remainder of the term.

(4)Require a special hunting permit to be issued free of charge.

(5)Require a special hunting permit to be issued consistent with federal law.

(2) The commission shall report any findings to the Legislature and the Governor on or before January 1, 2022, on the progress of the program described in paragraph (1).

(d)

(b) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Big game” has the same meaning as defined in Section 350 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) “In service to the state or country” means the death of a person while the person was actively serving in the United States Armed Forces or in local, state, or federal law enforcement or fire service.
(3) “Terminal illness” means an incurable or irreversible condition with a corresponding life expectancy that does not exceed 60 months.
(4) “Youth” means a person who is under 18 years of age.

(5)“Youth hunter” means a youth who has a terminal illness or a youth who lost a parent in service to the state or country.

(c) (1) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) is inoperative on January 1, 2026, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(2) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.