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Bills Facilitate Hunting and Fishing for Vets and Disabled

October 18th, 2012

The Michigan legislature recently enrolled two bills into public acts 339 and 340. Both acts ease restrictions on hunters and anglers with disabilities.

HB 5292, sponsored by Rep. Holly HUGHES (R-Montague), allows disabled veterans to obtain hunting and fishing licenses at no cost. The bill applies to all disabilities with the exception of blindness.

Persons declared legally blind may purchase a senior restricted or senior all-species fishing license but are required to pay the designated cost.

Disabled veterans are eligible to obtain any resident license, unless a lottery is required, at no cost. The bill, now PA 339, will take effect beginning March of 2013.

HB 5322, sponsored by Rep. Kurt HEISE (R-Plymouth), allows citizens to carry unloaded, uncased firearms at sporting clays ranges. Previous law required shooters to case their gun between stations, which disrupted the flow of the event.

The two exceptions to the previous law pertain to carrying firearms on state licensed game bird hunting preserves and at sporting clay facilities.

Firearms being carried in a vehicle on a sporting clays range must be unloaded. Those carrying firearms on a vehicle at a sporting clays range are not restricted to persons with disabilities. Individuals may not transport a bow unless the bow is unstrung, enclosed in a case, or carried in the trunk.

Specific criteria pertain to those carrying a firearm upon a vehicle at a game bird preserve. Persons with a disability are allowed to carry a firearm on a vehicle other than a car or truck and if the vehicle is going no faster than 10 miles per hour. The firearm must be unloaded.

This bill also allows for persons with disabilities to possess a loaded firearm and may discharge the firearm to take an animal from the vehicle, except a car or truck, if that vehicle is not moving. This enrolled bill, now PA 340, allows for those with disabilities to continue hunting and facilitates the experience.

  • reddog

    Thats all good but what do they consider disabled? I was declared disabled 2 years ago. I cant work my job because of it and im getting social security for it. Does this mean I am included in these laws?

    • Andy Evans

      To qualify you would have to be a veteran receiving benefits from the VA at the 100% rate, or be a veteran who has been classified as “unemployable” by the VA. Currently no discounts for SSI disability. You do get a nice discount once you are 65 though.

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