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Thread: HB1096: Potential Issues with DGIF Regulatory Authority

  1. #1
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    HB1096: Potential Issues with DGIF Regulatory Authority

    VCDL's Legislation Tracking Tool indicates that VCDL strongly supports HB1096 ( http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...161+sum+HB1096 ). I read both the summary and the text of the proposed bill and grew concerned at the carve out for DGIF to promulgate regulations pertaining to hunting may include regulations governing the possession, carrying, transportation, and storage of firearms, ammunition, or components or combinations thereof. However, there is nothing here that would restrict DGIF from promulgating regulations that would make the possession or carrying of firearms on DGIF lands grounds for the presumption that one is hunting, fishing, etc. It seems to me that this carve out is ripe for abuse without clearly laying out that DGIF has no authority to make such presumptions.

    I know our friends in West Virginia had to deal with a similar issue until recently and West Virginians and visitors in certain areas were prohibited from at least openly carrying handguns in certain areas due to laws or regulations that assumed that a person carrying a gun in these areas was in the act of hunting.

    This bill provides the right opportunity to eliminate the infringements on hunter's rights to armed self defense when hunting, particularly when they do not possess a CHP. If DGIF wants to have limitations on what one may hunt with that's fair I suppose, but mere possession of a holstered or slung firearm should not be adequate evidence that one is hunting. In my mind it may be adequate at this time to limit this protection to those carrying handguns, if it is more likely to pass, but I do not see that it is necessary to make the protection only applicable to handguns.

    Those of you who hunt feel free to chime in here. I'm not a hunter, but it seems that this bill has the potential to be problematic for hunters and non-hunters combined; but it also provides the opportunity to right some wrongs that have existed in the Code of Virginia and in the Virginia Administrative Code related to the carrying of defensive guns while hunting.
    Last edited by jmelvin; 02-02-2016 at 07:55 PM.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    LIS says the bill was reported from the sub-committee on 1/21/16, with amendments, but there is no updated bill text available. It would be important to see what amendments were made.

    Rightly or wrongly, it seems to be the fact that hunting regulations include carry regulations. I suspect that the strategists for this bill believe that keeping that status quo intact improves the chances that the bill will pass.

    Just a guess. There are a lot of people who know more about this area than me!

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    LIS says the bill was reported from the sub-committee on 1/21/16, with amendments, but there is no updated bill text available. It would be important to see what amendments were made.

    Rightly or wrongly, it seems to be the fact that hunting regulations include carry regulations. I suspect that the strategists for this bill believe that keeping that status quo intact improves the chances that the bill will pass.

    Just a guess. There are a lot of people who know more about this area than me!

    TFred
    I know there are plenty of people more knowledgeable on this area than I as well. However, at first glance it appeared this bill may not just restore "the previous normal", but may actually give DGIF more or different authority than before that could come back and bite us all. That's where I was hoping someone more familiar with DGIF and the hunting regs might be able to add something here. We'll see I suppose.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    I know there are plenty of people more knowledgeable on this area than I as well. However, at first glance it appeared this bill may not just restore "the previous normal", but may actually give DGIF more or different authority than before that could come back and bite us all. That's where I was hoping someone more familiar with DGIF and the hunting regs might be able to add something here. We'll see I suppose.
    I don't think it's more, I think it's just carving out for them the same authority that they have now.

    See the Local Firearms Ordinances, Laws, and Regulations on the DGIF web page.

    TFred

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