NJOA Chair, Anthony P. Mauro, Sr., shares his thoughts on the Sweeny/Burzichelli/Riley endorsement.

The outdoorsmen/women of New Jersey owe a great deal of thanks to Senator Sweeney, Assemblyman Burzichelli, and Assemblywoman Riley. Their leadership and understanding of the importance of conservation has helped to advance numerous outdoors initiatives.
While it is important to note that bipartisan support from many of our state legislators, and governors, have advanced NJOA conservation initiatives, the backing of New Jersey’s Senate President (Senator Sweeney) is crucial for legislation to move to the Governor’s desk. Senator Sweeney has also played a key role in stopping harmful legislation from becoming law. Also, it is through his efforts that sportsmen and women have a forum in Trenton to voice their interests through the New Jersey Angling and Hunting Conservation Caucus.

Collectively the Sweeney/Burzichelli/Riley team has been instrumental in the following conservation accomplishments:

The advancement of Sunday bow hunting, which was signed into law.

The advancement of 150′ safety zone, which was signed into law.

The advancement of Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs, which was signed into law.

The recent compromise regarding the removal of fixed gear from state reefs.

The development of New Jersey’s first caucus to advance conservation matters in Trenton: “New Jersey Angling & Hunting Conservation Caucus”. This caucus has received national recognition.

Additionally, Senator Sweeney, as Senate President, has a long record of preventing harmful anti-hunting and anti-fishing legislation from becoming law. He has done so by educating legislators and policy makers about the benefits of fishing, hunting, and environmental stewardship through conservation based policy.

While some hunters may have disagreed with recent F.I.D. related gun legislation (which was vetoed by Governor Christie) it is noteworthy that the NRA has given Senator Sweeney its highest rating in past years, and he has long been considered a supporter of the Second Amendment. He also filtered the Assembly’s 23 gun bills to help ensure a more effective outcome.

Importantly, given demographic trends in New Jersey, should Senator Sweeney be replaced as Senate President there is a high probability that it would be with someone strongly opposed to the Second Amendment and hunting, and perhaps fishing, to a lesser degree. So, in the opinion of NJOA, it is wise to avoid needlessly self-destructive behavior that could impact the Senate President position and as a consequence negatively influence conservation and shooting interests.

In short, the NJOA endorses the Sweeney/Burzichelli/Riley team in the 3rd legislative district for their long history of outdoor friendly laws and legislation, their understanding and support of the principles of conservation, and their efforts to act as educators of legislators and policy-makers to the needs of outdoorsmen and women.