Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Hunting

Pennsylvania: Poaching Penalty Legislation Misses It’s Mark!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Please Contact the House Game and Fisheries Committee Today!

Over the past two weeks, there has been a great deal of misinformation regarding the National Rifle Association’s position on House Bill 97, sponsored by State Representative Edward Staback (D-115).  It is time to set the record straight.  While all reasonable people will agree that penalties should be imposed against those who violate wildlife laws, there can be legitimate disagreement with regard to how severe the penalties should be for specific offenses.  One of the basic tenets of the American justice system is that the proposed penalties correlate with the severity of the offense.  After a great deal of consideration, it is the NRA’s position that the appropriate balance has not been reached in House Bill 97.   

Make no mistake, poaching is theft of one of our most treasured public resources and should be punished in a manner that provides an effective deterrent for potential offenders while still serving the interests of justice.  The NRA is concerned that the punishment proposed in this legislation for the professional, calculating criminal poacher is often the same as that for the licensed hunter who may exercise poor judgmentWe believe appropriate distinctions must be made.

The proponents of this legislation often portray it as targeting the worst of the worst offenders – those who kill numerous animals for the meat market or regularly trophy hunt from vehicles using spotlights in the dead of night.  However the provisions in House Bill 97 go well beyond this portrayal.

The legislation’s proposed misdemeanor classifications for “out of season” and “over the bag limit” offenses involve numerous violations which are not necessarily “bad actor/ poacher” specific but receive the same penalty.  For example, under this proposal, a licensed hunter who fails to report a mistaken turkey kill (big game) or shoots a turkey five minutes before or after legal shooting hours faces the same penalties as a poacher shooting two deer (big game) from a vehicle at midnight.  Under this proposal, both violations would be classified as a misdemeanor in the third degree punishable by up to six months in prison, a $1,500 to $3,000 fine and a five year hunting license revocation.  Clearly these two events vary in criminal intent and culpability, however, under this proposal they are treated identically.

Another example would be a turkey hunter who accidentally shoots a second turkey while shooting the intended target.  If the hunter exercises poor judgment and fails to report the second bird as a “mistaken kill,” he faces the possibility of sitting in the same jail cell with the “midnight poacher” for the same length of time.  

Finally, if the same hunter is convicted of a second similar qualifying misdemeanor offense of the third degree within a ten year period he faces a felony of the third degree punishable by three years in prison, a $10,000 to $15,000 fine, a 15 year hunting license revocation and a lifetime loss of his constitutional right to own firearms.  In fact, the fines for this offense are higher than those allowed under the Pa. Crimes Code for involuntary manslaughter, arson, luring a child into a motor vehicle, endangering the welfare of a child and assaulting a child.

Please contact the members of the House Game and Fisheries Committee TODAY and urge committee members to ensure that the proposed penalties in House Bill 97 truly fit the crime.  Specifically, felony penalties should be reserved for the most offensive poaching acts.  Misdemeanor and summary penalties still carry significant fines and months of potential incarceration and work to deter all but the most dedicated offenders.  A roster of committee members and links to their contact information can be found here.

TRENDING NOW
Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban

On Wednesday, longtime gun control extremist Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the latest version of her perennial bid to rid America of its most popular types of rifles, as well as the standard capacity magazines that ...

Monster Mistake, Take Two?

News  

Hunting  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Monster Mistake, Take Two?

Capitulating to radical, anti-gun extremism has become acceptable to some within the business community in recent years, especially for companies that seem to care little about our rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.  We’ve seen banks ...

Background Checks: No Impact on Criminals

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Background Checks: No Impact on Criminals

We have seen a generation of gun-grabbers rise and fall. The new generation of gun-grabbers are pushing for the same tired and baseless policies that won’t so much as inconvenience criminals. We understand the emotional ...

Tell Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

Take Action  

News  

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tell Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

This week two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called “universal” background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is ...

Canada’s Gun Control Advocates Boast Handgun Ban is “Within Reach”

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Canada’s Gun Control Advocates Boast Handgun Ban is “Within Reach”

On August 28, 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructed Bill Blair, his minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, to examine the feasibility of “a full ban on handguns and assault weapons in ...

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

Monday, January 14, 2019

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

With the 2019 Wisconsin Legislative Session convened, Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul are already working with legislators to pass sweeping gun control.

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Pre-Filed, Legislature to Convene Monday

Friday, January 11, 2019

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Pre-Filed, Legislature to Convene Monday

The 2019 Oregon Legislative Session will convene on Monday, January 14th, and anti-gun legislators have already pre-filed numerous bills to infringe upon your rights and more bills are expected in the coming weeks.

Media Contagion Effect and Mass Shootings

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Media Contagion Effect and Mass Shootings

Writing for Editor & Publisher, freelance journalist Angela Morris asked recently, “Do Journalists Deserve Some Blame for America’s Mass Shootings?” A review of the evidence summarized by Morris should serve as a stark warning for journalists who cover ...

Illinois: Firearm Registration & Dealer Licensing Bill May Reach New Governor’s Desk

Friday, January 11, 2019

Illinois: Firearm Registration & Dealer Licensing Bill May Reach New Governor’s Desk

On January 10th, Illinois state Senate President John Cullerton removed a hold on a bill potentially to make the unprecedented move of attempting to send a bill passed by the previous legislature to a newly ...

Oregon: Ballot Initiative Filed to Ban Common Semi-Auto Firearms & Standard Capacity Magazines

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Oregon: Ballot Initiative Filed to Ban Common Semi-Auto Firearms & Standard Capacity Magazines

Earlier this week, Initiative Petition 42, now re-filed as Initiative Petition 43, was filed with the Oregon Secretary of State that would ban commonly owned semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines.  Under this proposal, legal gun owners would ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.