Tag Archives: hunting

With a Second Stroke of a Pen, PA Governor Wolf Ensures that Firearm Rights are Restricted by Renewing Proclamation of State of Emergency

Yesterday, for the second time, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf renewed a proclamation declaring Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid epidemic a statewide disaster emergency, seemingly triggering the firearm prohibitions found in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107 during declared emergencies.

As I discussed extensively in my prior blog article – With a Stroke of a Pen, PA Governor Wolf Limits Firearms Rights by Proclaiming a State of Emergency – pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107, an individual, who could generally carry a firearm in public without a license to carry firearms (LTCF) (with the exception of in the City of Philadelphia as a city of the first class), cannot do so during a state of emergency. As I additionally blogged about – Are the Great American Outdoors Show (GAOS) and State Game Land Hunting in Jeopardy as a Result of Governor Wolf’s Proclamation of Emergency? – the proclamation affects gun shows and would force a hunter on state game lands to prove, as a defense to prosecution, that he/she was lawfully engaged in hunting.

Most importantly, in my third and last article on the proclamation – Lose Your Second Amendment Rights if You Violate Section 6107 as a Result of Governor Wolf’s Opioid Proclamation – if you are convicted of a violation of Section 6107, because it is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree, you will be prohibited under federal law from purchasing and possessing firearms and ammunition.

Please contact your State Representatives and demand that they immediately repeal Section 6107, so that YOUR rights aren’t infringed and so that YOU aren’t forced to pay attorney fees and costs to prove, as a defense, one of the exceptions in Section 6106. When contacting them, also demand that the draconian transportation laws of Section 6106 be repealed, as well.

If you or someone you know has had their right to keep and bear arms infringed as a result of this state of emergency, contact Firearms Industry Consulting Group today to discuss YOUR rights and legal options.

 


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

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Governor Wolf to Permit Hunting with Leashed Tracking Dogs

Yesterday, Governor Wolf brought Pennsylvania hunting into the 21st Century by permitting the use of leashed tracking dogs – which is permitted by 35 other states – by enacting SB 135.

SB 135 amends Section 2383 of the Pennsylvania Game Code by permitting an individual to:

Make use of a leashed tracking dog to track a white-tailed deer, bear or elk in an attempt to recover an animal which has been legally killed or wounded during any open season for white-tailed deer, bear or elk.

Please join us in thanking Governor Wolf for allowing law-abiding hunters to use dogs to track a wounded or harvested animal that may have traveled some distance, especially in areas of varied terrain or during poor weather conditions.

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.

 


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

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New PA Hunting Law Precludes Revocation of Hunting Licenses

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.

 


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

 

 

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Results of a Right to Know Law Request to the PA Game Commission Regarding Their Survey of Hunters and Semi-automatics for Big Game Hunting

pa_game_commission_fall

Recently, after I blogged about the list of approved animals to hunt with a semi-automatic in PA, I submitted a Right to Know Law request to the PA Game Commission.

I sought records which included the survey itself, any and all responses, and documents relating to the selection of those who would receive the survey, information (age, county) of the individual completing the survey.

The cost to produce the records I requested would be almost $400, as there were an estimated 1,473 pages of records that were responsive to my request. I was informed that approximately 75% of the respondents returned the survey via the USPS, which accounted for the cost associated with the production of the records.

The Commission did furnish me with the responses that were returned electronically (523 responses). Please note, this only accounts for 1/4 of the total responses received.

I sent the responses I received to a fellow member on AR15.com who is more well versed in decoding the information provided. He responded that “the sample, at least the observable portion, is rather skewed geographically and by age.”

He found that within the partial dataset there was a high degree of correlation between the ownership of a semi-automatic firearm and support and a high degree of non-ownership and strong opposition. Out of the 523 respondents that I received results for, less than 40% owned a semi-automatic rifle. It was further explained that opposition increased with age as well as counties that had the highest opposition rates also had the highest rate of response.

He also noted concerns relating to the sample population. In order to determine whether a representative sample of PA hunters were surveyed, we would need more information such as a summary detail on the CID pool from which the sample was drawn and populations by county with counts by age.

As for the methodology, I was told that the survey recipients were chosen via a SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) report that utilizes a data source based around a T-SQL query that makes use of the built-in NEWID function. Since, that stuff is a bit beyond my knowledge scope as to technology and databases, the response may have well have been in french.

The was it was explained to me was that, the “function assigns each distinct Customer ID (CID) number within the given parameters a randomly generated globally unique ID number.  An example of this ID looks like  6F9619FF-8B86-D011-B42D-00C04FC964FF.  These Customer ID numbers are sorted by the generated ID. The desired number of CID’s are taken from the top of the sorted list.  These randomly select CID’s are then joined with the associated demographic information.” 

As my technical resource notes

The sampling method used, (randomly assigning a Global ID and sorting in alphanumeric order)  is inherently flawed, as there is no way to ensure that the resulting sample is representative of the hunter population as a whole. The preferred method used throughout market research would be a “stratified random sample.”
By using county and age as strata, the PGC would have ensured, with 99% confidence, that the sample group was completely representative of the 900,000+ PA hunter population.
Choosing not to use this method, in conjunction with the vague statement “within given parameters,” indicates incompetence at best, or intent at worst.

I’d like to remind readers that I am only working with a portion of the data that the Commission received. Without the rest of the information, we are only looking at a small portion of the picture. But it does seem to raise questions as to the validity in which the survey was conducted.

 

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PA Game Commission Votes AGAINST Semi-Automatic Hunting

Today, after previously voting unanimously to preliminarily approve hunting of game with semi-automatic firearms, the Pennsylvania Game Commission voted against semi-automatic hunting for big game in violation of the Second Amendment and in direct betrayal of gun owners.

Please reach out to the Game Commission and let them know your thoughts on their encroachment of your inalienable rights.

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PA Game Commission Preliminarily Approves The Use Of Semiautomatic Rifles and Shotguns While Hunting Big Game, Small Game and Furbearers

After the public hearings that occurred from January 29th through today, January 31, 2017, the Pennsylvania Game Commission announced:

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave unanimous preliminary approval to regulatory changes that would permit the use of semiautomatic rifles and shotguns while hunting big game, small game and furbearers. A five-round magazine would be required for all semiautomatic hunting rifles, with the total ammunition capacity limited to six rounds, based on the preliminarily approved measure.

The measure also preliminarily approves the use of air rifles for small-game and furbearers.

Consistent with Firearm Owners Against Crime’s comments and evidentiary submissions to the PA Game Commissioners, the Board stated that

most of those who opposed cited concerns over compromised safety as their primary reason for opposition … [however after] a thorough review of hunter safety in states that allow semiautomatic rifles, including neighboring states and states that most resemble Pennsylvania in terms of hunter density…[t]he review uncovered no evidence the use of semiautomatic rifles has led to a decline in hunter safety in any state where they’re permitted for hunting.

Furthermore, the Board also reviewed the follow regulatory additions/changes:

Semiautomatic rifles in .22 caliber or less that propel single-projectile ammunition and semiautomatic shotguns 10 gauge or smaller propelling ammunition not larger than No. 4 lead – also No. 2 steel or No. 4 composition or alloy – would be legal firearms arms for small-game seasons under a regulation preliminarily approved by the Board of Game Commissioners.

Semiautomatic firearms that propel single-projectile ammunition also would be legal sporting arms for woodchucks and furbearers. There is no caliber restriction for woodchucks or furbearers.

For big game, semiautomatic centerfire rifles and shotguns would be legal sporting arms.

Full-metal-jacket ammunition would continue to be prohibited for deer, bear and elk hunting.

All semiautomatic firearms would be limited to six rounds’ ammunition capacity – magazines can hold no more than five rounds.

Semiautomatics would be legal in seasons in which modern firearms can be used to take deer, black bears, elk and fall turkeys.

Air-guns would be legal for small game in calibers from .177 to .22 that propel single-projectile pellets or bullets, under the regulatory changes preliminarily approved by the Board of Game Commissioners.

For woodchucks and furbearers, air-guns must be at least .22 caliber and propel a single-projectile pellet or bullet. BB ammunition is not authorized for small game, furbearers or woodchucks.

These proposals will be brought up again at the March meeting for a final vote.

 

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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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