Governor Signs Bill Allowing Disabled Individuals to Hunt from Motorized Wheelchairs

Yesterday, Governor Wolf signed HB 698 into law. The text of HB 698 can be found here. HB 698 modified both Section 2308 and 2923 of the Game Law.

wheelchairhunting

HB 698 provides an exception to the general ban on hunting from a vehicle or conveyance of any kind other than that propelled by manpower. Section 2308 previously read:

§ 2308. Unlawful devices and methods.

(a) General rule.–Except as otherwise provided in this title, it is unlawful for any person to hunt or aid, abet, assist or conspire to hunt any game or wildlife through the use of:

(7) A vehicle or conveyance of any kind or its attachment propelled by other than manpower. Nothing in this subsection shall pertain to any of the following:

(i) A motorboat or sailboat if the motor has been completely shut off or sail furled, and the progress thereof has ceased.

HB 698 added the following exception:

(ii) A motorized wheelchair if the person has been issued a permit to hunt under section 2923(a.1) (relating to disabled person permits).

Section 2923 was modified to add the following language:

§ 2923. Disabled person permits.

(a.1) Use of motorized wheelchair.–

(1) Unless further restricted by commission regulation, a lifetime permit to hunt from a motorized wheelchair outside of a vehicle may be issued to a person with permanent disabilities who qualified for a hunting license under Chapter 27 or who possesses a junior resident license under section 2705(2) and who has a permanent or irreversible physical disability and is unable to ambulate and requires a wheelchair<-., WALKER, ONE LEG BRACE OR EXTERNAL PROSTHESIS ABOVE THE KNEE, TWO LEG BRACES OR EXTERNAL PROSTHESES BELOW THE KNEES, TWO CRUTCHES OR TWO CANES FOR MOBILITY.

(2)Permittees shall carry the permit upon their person while hunting. Any person named on this permit may hunt while using a motorized wheelchair and may use the motorized wheelchair to flush or locate game. The firearm may be loaded while the motorized wheelchair is in motion.

Just a note for any readers that may qualify for such a permit, this does not take effect for 60 days. The passage of this bill is excellent news for those who are confined to a wheelchair and will hopefully allow those individuals the ability to enjoy hunting in Pennsylvania’s lush lands.

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