|Posted:||December 19, 2018 12:45 PM|
|From:||Representative Brett R. Miller|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Trespass On Private Property While Hunting|
|In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation amending the Pennsylvania Game Code to address the offense of trespass while hunting, making this violation a primary offense and subsequently increasing the penalties. The bill was introduced last session as HB 1603 and passed out of the House Game and Fisheries Committee unanimously but did not move prior to the end of session.
Currently, in order for a violator to be charged with trespass while hunting, he or she must also have violated or be violating another unlawful provision of the Game Code to be charged with trespass by Wildlife Conservation Officers. The penalty for trespass while hunting is a summary offense of the fifth degree, with second or subsequent offenses potentially resulting in forfeiture of the privilege to hunt or take game or wildlife anywhere within this Commonwealth for a period of one year.
My legislation would make the offense of trespass while hunting a primary offense by amending the Game Code language to be similar to that of Agricultural Trespass in the Crimes Code, but with more suitable summary and misdemeanors penalties dependent on situation for the Game Code. Additionally, under my legislation, the license suspension provisions for repeat offenders currently in the Game Code will remain.
By making trespassing while hunting a primary offense, it will be enforceable by Wildlife Conservation Officers, as well as other law enforcement. For years we have heard complaints from landowners about hunters trespassing on their lands. Additionally, there is always some confusion about who must be called in the event of an alleged trespass violation, whether it should be the State Police, local police, or the Game Commission enforcement officers. My legislation seeks to correct this problem and create a proper deterrent to trespass while hunting.
Thank you for your consideration of this proposed legislation.
Introduced as HB446