CALL TO ACTION
STOP THE AIRBOW
Michigan Bow Hunters Association
Call To Action, 8-16-2021
If passed into law, House Bill 4080 would allow Pneumatic weaponry—the “air bow”—during the current Michigan Archery Hunting Season(s). HB 4080 is currently sitting with the Senate Committee on Natural Resources.
Michigan BowHunters Association (MBH) is opposed to HB 4080.
It is an afront to the very concept of Archery hunting, and MBH now asks every state legislator to reject HB 4080. The reasons for our stance against Pneumatic weaponry such as an “air bow” are many:
- The “air bow” does not meet any conventional definitions of archery equipment; the “air bow” does not even resemble archery equipment: Most obviously, it has no string; it also has no limbs. To the contrary, it does more resemble—and even function like—a gun/firearm: It has a trigger; it has a scope; it has a projectile far exceeding a feet per second (fps) velocity of any conventional archery equipment. An “air bow” would more accurately be labeled an “air gun”—and guns belong in gun/firearm season.
- The “air bow” was never asked for by the disabled community—the very group that “air bow” advocates are trying to allegedly target for inclusion in archery. For certain bad actors in the hunting industry to manipulate the voice and needs of individuals with a disability seems disingenuous at best, and cold-hearted and insulting at worst. The reality is this: Advocates of the “air bow” weapon must fabricate a “need” for a new weapon they can sell. The reality is also that their “solution” is for a nonexistent problem. Any moral individual would understand that claiming to address the needs of individuals with disabilities while actually just attempting a “bait and switch” maneuver to get new weaponry into a previously restricted hunting season is contrary to good business practice, and also contrary to good civic responsibility. Those in the hunting industry pushing the “air bow” do so not to enable the less than 1% of hunters with an actual disability, an extraordinarily small demographic for any viable product—and an illogically small pool. Instead, it is clear that “air bow” advocates instead simply want to get their foot in the door of the archery season, and then lobby later to get the “air bow” approved for use by a wider hunting population. This is nothing more than a slippery slope technique that is simply a clever marketing ploy: Create the optics of helping the disabled community while actually engineering a strategy for marketing a product to a wider group of hunters later. This marketing deception is one of the reasons previous “air bow” legislation failed; HB 4080 should also fail, according to the same logic.
- Law enforcements opposition and disapproval are also worth noting: Michigan’s own Natural Resource Commission (NRC) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) oppose HB 4080. If HB 4080 passed, it would in essence strip the NRC of its duties and abilities—through Proposal G—to manage Michigan resources as the NRC sees fit.
- The “air bow” is not the most suitable weapon for hunters with a disability—and NOT a legitimate tool to address the needs of people genuinely requiring assistance to hunt; therefore, the sales pitch explained in bullet point two above is not ethical from a “misrepresentation” angle as well. A hunter with a disability is already very well served by the current crossbows on the market: The crossbow is a lighter option with numerous accessories ideally suited to a person facing a disability, and a crossbow often weighs as little as four pounds; an “air bow” is twice as heavy, usually 7-9 pounds. The further irony of a “need” for the air bow is that the “air bow” takes comparable physical demands, ability, and dexterity as a crossbow to operate (since crossbows have numerous assistive cocking devices and features to make their use very easy, straightforward, and user friendly). It is clear that the “air bow” is simply a marketing ploy. Nothing is gained over the already-in-use crossbow.
- Standards proposed for determining who qualifies as having a disability with HB 4080 are also too broad. The gray area created by the uncertainty of who would legitimately qualify for “air bow” use is a major problem. The potential for abuse of the law, then, is cause for significant concern. If less than 1% of current hunters have a disability necessitating accommodation, what would be done—or even could be done—if a larger percentage of hunters (such as 2%, or 5%, or 10%) are later found approved for “air bow” use during archery season? Clearly, we are back to an integrity problem and a nightmare enforcement situation for our law enforcement personnel.
Michigan Bow Hunters Association hopes the five bullet points above help shed light on the realities of pending “air bow” legislation and provide a logical and ethical basis for state legislators to strike down HB 4080. MBH stands with fellow organizations such as the Michigan Traditional Bowhunters and the Michigan Longbow Association in opposition to HB 4080. We firmly believe that true bows and archery equipment belong in archery season, and that guns and devices equivalent to them belong in firearm season.
What Can WE Do Now?
HB 4080 is currently sitting with the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. MBH is asking you to contact EVERY SENATOR in the state with emails and calls. In the link below you find all their contact info as well as a list of their emails.
Michigan State Senator Contact List - https://senate.michigan.gov/senatorinfo_list.html
Michigan State Senator Email List - https://senate.michigan.gov/Senatoremaillst.html
For Further Inquiries Please Contact
MBH Vice President Bob Jones.
Vice President Michigan BowHunters Association