Yesterday, Governor Wolf signed HB 359 into law, which will take effect in 60 days and provides protections for hunters, (1) where they mistakenly kill a bear or elk, (2) where they are erroneously hunting in the wrong area and take a game animal that is out of season, and (3) where the hunter is current on a payment plan established by a court.
Currently, in relation to revocation of hunting privilege, Section 930 provides:
All privileges granted by this title shall automatically be suspended if a defendant fails to respond to a citation or summons within 60 days or fails to pay all penalties in full within 180 days following conviction.
As a result of HB 359, Section 930 will now have a subsection (b), which provides:
(b) Payment Plan – If a Defendant is enrolled in a payment plan to repay penalties mandated by a court of competent jurisdiction and the defendant is making regular payments in accordance with the court’s mandate, the privileges of this title may not be suspended.
Also, Section 2306 – Killing game or wildlife by mistake – has been amended by including restitution amounts of $100.00 for any bear or elk that is mistakenly killed.
More importantly, Section 2742 – Period of Revocation – has been amended with a new subsection (c), which provides:
(c) Clemency from revocation.–The commission shall not revoke the privilege to hunt or take game or wildlife anywhere in this Commonwealth for an unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife violation if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife violation is the person’s first unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife offense.
(2) The person complies with all of the procedural requirements set forth in section 2306(b)(1), (2) or (3) (relating to killing game or wildlife by mistake) concerning removal of entrails, tagging, reporting, delivery of carcass and providing a written, sworn statement.
(3) The unlawful taking of game or wildlife violation occurs during: (i) an open season within the applicable wildlife management unit for the species involved; or (ii) a closed season within the applicable wildlife management unit for the species involved, but only if there was an open season within an adjacent wildlife management unit for the same species.
(4) The person pleads guilty to the applicable unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife violation charged.
(5) The unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife violation does not involve a threatened or endangered species.
(6) There are no relevant aggravating circumstances present concerning the unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife violation.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a game violation, contact Firearms Industry Consulting Group today to discuss YOUR rights and legal options.
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