The pending gun legislation in Colorado could be putting the state’s reputation as a premier hunting destination on the line.
Michael Bane, executive producer of the Outdoor Channel, wrote a letter to Sen. Steve King stating that he would pull production out of Colorado if the gun bills passed. There are currently four series in production, according to the letter.
“That’s just one brick in the wall,” said Brett Axton, owner of Rocky Mountain Roosters.
Axton and other hunters believe the impact will trickle down to the tourism industry.
“Everyone pays a lot of money to go hunting. We pay for gas, if you are out of town a rental car, airplane ticket, hotel, all of the gear we buy,” said local hunter, Ryan Hocking.
Axton is also concerned with the background check/transfer bill. He fears it will keep out-of-state hunters away.
“If somebody comes from New York and they don’t want to fly with their gun and they want to use mine, they can’t do that now,” said Axton.
One of the gun bills would require a background check for transfers.
“That’s not going to happen in the field,” said Axton.
The Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau said it’s too early to tell if tourism will be impacted. The bureau’s film commission said it's confident production companies, outside the Outdoor Channel, will continue to use Colorado Springs as a background drop for outdoor adventures.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it received some negative feedback from hunters, but at this time it is not expecting a significant impact on the hunting industry.