Delta Waterfowl Raises Concerns About New California Tax Affecting Hunters

Assembly Bill 28 will increase the costs of guns and ammunition, burden law-abiding sportsmen and women

Delta Waterfowl Raises Concerns About New California Tax Affecting Hunters.

For immediate release
September 27, 2023

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 28 into law, imposing an additional 11% tax on the sale of guns and ammunition to fund the state’s Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Fund. The new California tax will go into effect July 1, 2024, on top of the existing Pittman-Robertson Act tax currently in place to help fund wildlife and conservation.

“We are thoroughly disappointed in the passing of AB 28,” said Christopher Hoon, Delta Waterfowl’s manager of government affairs for the Pacific Flyway. “It now nearly doubles the tax rate, in turn driving up the costs of ammo for all waterfowl hunters, reducing sales, and potentially, reducing the conservation funding which all California residents enjoy.”

Each year, sportsmen and women help provide vital funding for conservation efforts in California by purchasing hunting licenses, tags, and stamps. Hunters also provide additional funding through the 11% excise tax collected on firearms and ammunition under the Pittman-Robertson Act, which is a cornerstone of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation—and a tax the hunting and shooting sports industry and sportsmen and women gladly embrace.

Last year, California lawmakers stated directly in their bill that they modeled this legislation after the taxes collected through Pittman-Robertson, but instead of funding on-the-ground conservation work of natural resources in the State, this additional tax will go toward gun violence prevention with the tax levied on law-abiding hunters and gun owners.

“This legislation represents a misguided attempt to require law-abiding sportsmen and women to shoulder the financial burden of initiatives aimed at reducing the impact of criminals and criminal activity, all while disproportionally negatively impacting hunters, wildlife, and their habitats,” Hoon said. “In addition, it creates yet another barrier of entry into hunting and shooting sports for lower-income families and widens the gap between those who can afford to participate and those who cannot.”

Firearm and ammunition retailers—small businesses in particular—are also likely to experience negative reverberations from the additional tax.

“An owner of a small gun shop contacted me to express his apprehension,” Hoon said. “With it being more expensive, people will likely buy less, and that is a concerning reality for many of the family-owned establishments. This issue negatively impacts every corner of California’s waterfowling community, and Delta Waterfowl will continue to represent the voices of duck hunters as it moves forward.”

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For more information, contact Christopher Hoon at or (916) 626-7160.

Delta Waterfowl Foundation is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and ensure the future of waterfowl hunting in North America. Visit