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

News  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

Shortly before 4:00am last Saturday morning, the two week long Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All ...

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Monday, July 16, 2018

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

On July 9th, the Seattle City Council passed a mandatory firearm storage ordinance to restrict the self-defense rights of Seattle residents.  The ordinance, if signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, will impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as ...

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

News  

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

On July 9, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered the following ham-handed statement in an attempted attack on President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh is a true Second Amendment radical. ...

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

On July 17th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2354 and Senate Bill 3256 into law.

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

On Monday, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms (“CA DOJ”) officially withdrew the proposed regulations that would have expanded the improperly adopted “assault weapon” definitions, to apply in all circumstances. This withdrawal comes ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

California: Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

Thursday, July 19, 2018

California: Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

NRA Endorses State Senator Leah Vukmir for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin

News  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

NRA Endorses State Senator Leah Vukmir for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to announce its endorsement of state Sen. Leah Vukmir in the 2018 Republican U.S. Senate Primary in Wisconsin.

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

A common theme among anti-gun extremists is what we often refer to as the “Goldilocks” approach to limiting access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Rather than admit that the ultimate goal is to disarm all ...

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.