The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) says California Fish and Game Commission President Mike Sutton “shouldn’t be involved in implementing the state’s new ban on lead ammunition” because he holds a paid position with the National Audobon Society, which sponsored the ban.
Sutton is the National Audubon Society’s vice president for the Pacific Flyway; however, “Audubon co-sponsored [the lead ammo ban]” which Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed into law in October.
According to The Bay Area News Group, NSSF claims “Sutton has received and still receives income from Audubon.”
Their complaint explains: “His employer [Audubon] lobbies the Commission on governmental decisions which he makes and/or participates in, contrary to the letter and spirit of California laws proscribing incompatible activities.”
After Brown signed the lead ammo ban into law in October, Sutton took part in the Commission’s December “discussion” on the “[development] of regulations to implement this new law.”
In 2009, The San Diego Tribune reported Sutton was also accused of a conflict of interest for his role in the commission’s “decision-making process on the Marine Life Protection Act” (MLPA). He worked for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Center for the Future of the Oceans, which was funded by the same group that provided a “large” portion of funding in the push for the MLPA.
NSSF “is pressing CA Attorney General Kamala Harris to act on its complaint.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.