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COLUMN: Sportsmen Day raises important awareness on impact hunting, fishing, riding has on economy

— Sportsmen from all over the state gathered in Albany last week to draw attention to hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and all terrain vehicles that are significant to our Upstate economy. I was pleased to meet with local residents who came to Albany to raise awareness and also had the opportunity to work to protect our Second Amendment rights by showing unity.

Hunting, fishing and trapping activities contribute more than $1.8 billion to our economy annually. This year, we sportsmen face a unique challenge from the Assembly Majority. There is language in an Assembly budget bill that would govern gun manufacturers in this state by requiring something called microstamping. Microstamping would force manufacturers to produce a unique alpha-numeric or geometric code on the firing pin identifying the make, model and serial number of the pistol. Manufacturers would bear the cost of implementing this new regulation. The problem is, the success of this technology is unproven. Further, gun manufacturers have yet to devise technology that can ensure the make, model and serial number of the pistol is coded into an expended cartridge.

This is exactly the kind of regulation that puts unnecessary mandates on businesses and could force firearms manufacturers out of New York. Microstamping should not be included in a budget bill. Last year I voted against the same measure in the Assembly when it was brought to the floor as a stand-alone bill. Unfortunately, it passed the Assembly but, thankfully, not the Senate.

Rather than creating more regulations for gun manufacturers, we need to create legislation that will better support the interests of our Upstate residents. Snowmobiling alone is a $476 million-dollar industry for the state, with more than 130,000 registered snowmobiles on trails each year. There are also roughly 1.9 million New Yorkers who participate in ATV recreation but their economic impact is not known.

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