We Stopped the Snake-shooting Bill!

Thanks to YOU, HB 2022 died in the Arizona Senate.

Your calls, letters, and signatures stopped this reckless legislation from becoming law. Don’t ever think that your voice doesn’t matter because a single letter can make a difference and stop a bill that seemed certain to pass.

HB2022 was introduced in the 2017 Arizona legislature to change Shannon’s Law, a prohibition on shooting guns within city limits. Under the proposed amendment, it would have been legal to shoot with “pellets that are 1.3 millimeters or less in diameter and that are loaded in a rimfire cartridge with a caliber that does not exceed twenty-two hundredths of an inch.” This irresponsible legislation threatened public safety by allowing shooting in populated areas and encouraging people to approach potentially dangerous animals. We urged the state legislature to reject the amendment, and they did:

There are safer and more effective ways to resolve wildlife conflicts than shooting in populated areas

Stepping near western diamondback rattlesnake
Snakes are reluctant to bite, even when stepped on or picked up
Learn The Truth About Snakebite
Sonoran mountain kingsnake biting handler
Most snakebites happen when handling or attempting to kill snakes
Sonoran whipsnake closeup
Less than 5 people in the US die from snakebite each year, including bites from exotic species and those who refuse treatment
Arizona black rattlesnake on woodpile
Learn how to make your yard less attractive to snakes
Check out this brochure from the Tucson Herpetological Society
Rattlesnake Solutions snake fencing
Fence snakes out
Photo courtesy Rattlesnake Solutions -- they'll install snake fencing for you.
Photographing a rattlesnake
Appreciate and enjoy these unique desert creatures
Learn more about snakes at www.snakes.ngo

How HB2022 Threatened Public Safety.

This legislation could have resulted in more snakebites since it encouraged people to approach venomous snakes rather than leave them alone. Most bites happen when handling or attempting to kill snakes; even snakes thought to be dead have bitten when handled or picked-up. The safest course of action when a venomous snake is spotted is to walk away and not approach the snake for any reason.

The exception in HB2022 was not solely limited to snakes or other unwanted wild animals, nor did it specify shooting only in cases of an imminent threat to public safety. This law would have allowed our neighborhoods to be littered with lead — a serious threat to wildlife and public healthfor any reason.