Pennsylvania Attorneys for Hunting and Fishing Law Issues
Pennsylvania is home to hundreds of thousands of acres of prime hunting lands, as well as, many pristine lakes, rivers and streams. Every year, men and women take part in the traditions of hunting and fishing across the Commonwealth. As with many other activities, the opportunities to enjoy these traditions are impacted by interpretation and enforcement of the laws enacted to provide and protect those activities.
The laws and regulations governing hunting and fishing in Pennsylvania are complex. Most law firms have no experience dealing with these laws or the interrelationship with federal law that can result in a conviction prohibiting you for life from hunting or even owning or possessing a firearm. However, Firearms Industry Consulting Group®, a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., maintains a vibrant practice related to hunting, fishing and firearms law. Many of our attorneys are avid outdoorsmen with a passion for protecting your rights in these activities, including the basic Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
We represent individual hunters and anglers, as well as gun and sportsmen’s clubs and Federal Firearms Licensees.
For further information regarding the hunting and fishing laws in Pennsylvania, including what you NEED to know BEFORE any interaction with a Game Commission Officer, see our tabs at the top of this page regarding:
- Don’t Speak to the Game Commission
- STOP, before pleading guilty to a Game Violation
- License Suspension Challenges and Restoration
- Hunter Harassment Act
If You Are a Hunter or Angler in Need of Representation, Contact Us Today, So One of Our Firearms Lawyers Can Help Protect Your Rights.
Individuals are told never to speak to the police without an attorney present. The reason for this advice is simple. You are likely to make a statement that will end up being used against you in a court of law. The Game Commission is no different than the police.
Time and time again, individuals have interactions with Game Commission Officers only to inadvertently say something that is used against them in the issuance of a citation or their prosecution. Additionally, the Game Commission Officers are now employing the use of body cameras to record interactions between themselves and sportsmen.
Many individuals are unaware of what the Game Commission Officers can and cannot do by law. While not a comprehensive list, some of the things a Game Commission Officer can do are: search any person or means of transportation or its attachment or occupants, or any clothing worn by any person, or any bag, clothing or container under probable cause, consent, exigent circumstances or other established exceptions to warrant requirements, provided that if any person is present the officer presents a badge or other means of official identification and states the purpose of the search. (34 Pa.C.S. § 901(a)(7)); demand and secure identification from a person who is the subject of an official investigation or investigative detention, supported by reasonable suspicion, if the officer presents a badge or other means of official identification (34 Pa.C.S. § 901(a)(14)); and require the holder of any license or permit required by this title or by commission regulation to sign the holder’s name on a separate piece of paper in the presence of the requesting officer. (34 Pa.C.S. §901(a)(16)).
By not speaking to the Game Commission, you do not run the risk of making an admission to a violation of the Game Code. You should ALWAYS ask for counsel before speaking to the Game Commission and NEVER consent to a search.
The team at the Firearms Industry Consulting Group®, a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., handles representation of hunters before the Game Commission and its officers. Many of our attorneys are avid outdoorsmen with a passion for protecting your rights in these activities, including the basic Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Many individuals are under the mistaken belief that when issued a citation for a game violation, all they will need to do is pay a fine and the problems stop there. Unfortunately, time after time, individuals find themselves in much more precarious positions.
The fine associated with the violation is not the only penalty an individual could find himself or herself facing. Depending upon the nature of the offense and whether it is the individual’s first violation, pleading guilty could result in the revocation of hunting privileges across the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania, along with 43 other states, is a signatory to the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact (IWVC). An individual who has their hunting privileges revoked may be unable to hunt not just in Pennsylvania, but any of the states that are signatories to the IWCV.
Hunting privileges are not the only thing at stake. A guilty plea to a game violation could potentially impute an individual’s ability to obtain a License to Carry Firearms (LTCF) if the Sheriff were to learn of the violation. Pennsylvania allows Sheriff’s to deny or revoke LTCFs based on character and reputation. As the character and reputation requirement is ambiguous, a Sheriff who is anti-gun may take advantage of the opportunity to revoke or deny a license.
Individuals who pursue National Firearms Act Firearms (NFA Firearms) may find themselves unable to obtain the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) signature on their forms due to a game violation.
Game violations are more than just a fine. They can potentially affect an individual’s ability to hunt, acquire or renew a LTCF and may prevent a CLEO from signing NFA paperwork.
The team at the Firearms Industry Consulting Group®, a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., handles representation of hunters at all levels against the Game Commission. From appearing at MDJ Hearings to representation in front of the Game Commission to challenge a license revocation, our Attorneys represent the sportsmen of our Commonwealth with vigor.
If You Are a Hunter in Need of Representation in Relation to a Hunting Law Citation, Contact Us Today, So One of Our Firearms Lawyers Can Help Protect Your Rights.
After having paid their citation, many individuals find themselves receiving letters stating that their hunting privileges are being revoked for a certain period of years starting in July of the following year.
When a license suspension notice is received, an individual may appeal the suspension to a hearing officer appointed by the Game Commission. The hearings are held in Harrisburg, PA at the Game Commission Headquarters. During the hearing the Game Commission will present testimony, giving the individual or individual’s attorney the opportunity to cross-examine the Game Commission Officer. The individual is then given the opportunity to present their side of the story followed by cross examination by the Game Commission Officer, should they elect to do so. The hearing officer will make notes and record the hearing and write a report to the board. The board ultimately determines whether the individual’s license will be suspended.
A license suspension means that the individual will be unable to hunt in Pennsylvania for the determined period of years. Further, as PA is a signatory to the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact (IWVC), it could result in losing the ability to hunt in 43 other states.
The team at the Firearms Industry Consulting Group®, a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., handles representation of hunters challenging hunting license suspensions and restoration of hunting privileges. When it comes to challenging license suspensions or requesting restoration of hunting privileges in front of the Game Commission, our Attorneys represent the sportsmen of our Commonwealth with vigor.
If You Are a Hunter in Need of Representation in Relation to a License Suspension or Restoration, Contact Us Today, So One of Our Firearms Lawyers Can Help Protect Your Rights.
Hunter Harassment Act
In light of hunters being harassed by animal rights activists, vindictive neighbors or others, the General Assembly passed the Hunter Harassment Act.
Activities which individuals can be cited for include when a person intentionally or knowingly:
- (1) drives or disturbs wildlife for the purpose of disrupting the lawful taking of wildlife where another person is engaged in the process of lawfully taking wildlife or other permitted activities;
- (2) blocks, impedes or otherwise harasses another person who is engaged in the process of lawfully taking wildlife or other permitted activities;
- (3) uses natural or artificial visual, aural, olfactory or physical stimuli to affect wildlife behavior in order to hinder or prevent the lawful taking of wildlife or other permitted activities;
- (4) creates or erects barriers with the intent to deny ingress or egress to areas where the lawful taking of wildlife or other permitted activities may occur;
- (5) interjects himself into the line of fire;
- (6) affects the condition or placement of personal or public property intended for use in the lawful taking of wildlife or other permitted activities in order to impair its usefulness or prevent its use;
- (7) enters or remains upon public lands or upon private lands without permission of the owner or their agent, with intent to violate this section; or
- (8) fails to obey the order of any officer whose duty it is to enforce any of the laws of this Commonwealth where such officer observes any conduct which violates this section or has reasonable grounds to believe that any person intends to engage in such conduct.
The team at the Firearms Industry Consulting Group®, a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., handles representation of hunters who have experienced harassment in the field. When it comes to Hunter Harassment, our Attorneys represent the sportsmen of our Commonwealth with vigor.
If You Are a Hunter in Need of Representation in Relation to the Hunter Harassment Act, Contact Us Today, So One of Our Firearms Lawyers Can Help Protect Your Rights