Firearms Industry Opposes Closing of Reynolds Game Farm

NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) — the trade association for the hunting, shooting sports, and firearms industry — is officially opposing the closure of the Richard E. Reynolds Game Farm, near Ithaca, N.Y. The farm is the only state-owned pheasant-rearing facility, and its closure by the end of the year, as ordered by Gov. David Paterson, may mark the end of the popular pheasant-stocking program that is carried out on more than 100 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation-managed public hunting grounds across the state.

The closure has been viewed by Gov. Paterson as a significant cost-saving measure as he prepared the state’s next budget. However, expenses attributed to the operation of Reynolds have been quoted to be approximately $750,000, and much of that is attributable to staff salaries and benefits. According to New York State Conservation Council President Harold Palmer, however, none of the staff will be laid off, but, instead simply moved to other jobs.

The Reynolds Game Farm expenses are paid for by the state’s Conservation Fund, whose source of funding is primarily generated by the purchase of sportsmen’s licenses and the excise tax revenue from the purchase of hunting and fishing equipment by New York sportsmen. Yet, the closure of the pheasant-rearing facility will hurt those very people who fund it and whom it serves.

Gov. Paterson sounded triumphant in directing the slaughter of the 8,000 pheasants at the Reynolds facility, which rightfully belonged to the sportsmen of New York, to be processed and packaged for distribution to a food pantry in the state’s Southern Tier.

“It is very ironic that the governor would claim a victory in feeding the hungry, while taking these pheasants — and the overall, extremely popular pheasant-hunting experience — from the people who have paid for them,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

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