Earlier this week the New York Assembly passed the final chapter of a rifle bill for most of Chautauqua County. With the help of Assemblyman Andrew Goodell (R,I,C, Chautauqua County) sportsmen of Chautauqua County will finally be able to be on the same field as the rest of the state regarding using rifles for big game hunting.
Without the help of Senator Cathy Young (R-Olean), the rifle bill wouldn't have made it into law. While Assemblyman Goodell was the driving force in the House, Senator Young walked the bill through the twists and turns of the Senate.
Sportsmen are fortunate to have advocates in both houses of state government in our corner and we all should remember these victories come each November.
The importance of Chautauqua County big-game hunters being able to use rifles has been a long time in the making. Several years ago a group of us met at the Falconer Rod and Gun with local and state elected officials, DEC staff, property owners and firearm experts. During the nearly two-hour -meeting, much was discussed and at the time most thought we had all come to an understanding. Due to lack of local leadership in the Assembly the original bills didn'tt make to or off the floor.
It wasn't until Assemblyman Goodell was elected and teamed up with longtime friend of sportsmen, Senator Young, that the rifle bill was passed on a two-year plan. The final bill, which sits on the Governor's desk waiting for his signature will make rifle hunting in most of Chautauqua County a law.