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, the team at the Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®), 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. There is even a separate website devoted to their Second Amendment and Article 1, Section 21 practice at www.FirearmsIndustryConsultingGroup.com, which provides further information on their representation of hunters and anglers, and we maintain a blog with a section devoted to hunting and fishing issues.
Handling a Wide Range of Pennsylvania Hunting and Fishing Law Issues
As passionate and experienced Pennsylvania attorneys, we represent clients confronted with an array of problems that may infringe their rights. Here are some examples:
Problems with game wardens: Many hunters may not understand the sheer breadth of a game warden’s authority. Wardens can, for example, conduct certain types of searches without obtaining a search warrant; however, contrary to the belief that a warden’s power is unfettered, they cannot, absent your consent, enter and search your home unless there are exigent circumstances. While the Game Code provides that a game warden may “[g]o upon any land or water outside of buildings, except curtilage, posted or otherwise, in the performance of the officer’s duty,” nothing in the Code gives them further power to conduct searches, where general law enforcement would be precluded, as has been established by the courts.
While game wardens enforce wildlife-related laws, they also have general law enforcement authority, so they can arrest people for certain crimes, such as misdemeanor and felony violations of the Crimes Code. However, as mentioned above, the game wardens’ authority is not without limits. If you feel your rights were violated, reach out to us for advice.
Poaching: Accusations of poaching are extremely serious. The Game Commission can press charges against hunters for poaching. However, too many hunters are charged with poaching even though their activity was completely legal. For example, hunting coyotes at night is legal but sometimes coyote hunters are arrested and accused of poaching.
Trespassing: Landowners have the right to keep others off their land, including hunters. But, often private lands are not clearly posted as such, leading a hunter to enter the land thinking there is no problem. Certain trespassing convictions can result in the person being prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm for the rest of his/her life. We help hunters and anglers fight against trespassing and related charges, as a conviction can result in the individual being precluded from owning, possessing and purchasing a firearm, ammunition and electronic incapacitation devices (e.g. stun guns).
Licensing: The Game Commission and Game Board are in charge of issuing hunting and fishing licenses. If your privileges were revoked or if you were denied a license in the first place, talk to us about your options.
Hunter Harassment Act: Protecting Hunters From Activists
In response to a long history of intimidation and harassment of hunters by animal rights activists, the Pennsylvania legislature passed the Hunter Harassment Statute. The law makes it illegal for someone to intentionally interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife. Firearms Industry Consulting Group, a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., represents hunters who have been harassed in violation of this law. We encourage you to seek our attorneys’ advice if:
Someone chased wildlife away from you while you were hunting
Someone built a barrier to prevent access to land on which hunting is legal
You were verbally harassed or threatened while hunting
If You Are a Hunter in Need of Representation, Our Firearms Lawyers Can Help
Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., is home to passionate outdoorsmen and firearms enthusiasts. We are proud to represent Pennsylvania hunters and anglers. To arrange a consultation, call 610-845-3803 or toll free 888-313-0416. You can also contact our law firm online.
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Firearms Industry Consulting Group® and FICG® are registered trademarks of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with permission granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use those trademarks, when approved by the Civil Rights Defense Firm.