WEST virginia legislature
2017 regular session
House Bill 2708
By Delegates Hamilton, A. Evans, Paynter, Ambler, Butler, Brewer, Iaquinta, R. Romine, Lewis, Rowan and Eldridge
[Originating in the Committee on Finance;
March 24, 2017]
A BILL to amend and reenact §20-2-30a of the Code of West Virginia, as amended, relating to a lawful method for a developmentally disabled person to purchase a base hunting license when that person attends an on-site hunter training course and successfully completes all nonwritten aspects of the course to receive a certificate but is unable to successfully complete the required course for the certificate of training; providing that the developmentally disabled person possessing the base hunting license may hunt when accompanied and directly supervised by a person over the age of eighteen years; and providing criminal penalties for violation of this section of the code.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §20-2-30a of the Code of West Virginia, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-30a. Certificate of training; falsifying, altering, forging, counterfeiting or uttering training certificate; modified certificate of training; penalties.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, no base hunting license may be issued to any person who was born on or after January 1, 1975, unless the person submits to the person authorized to issue hunting licenses a certificate of training as provided in this section or proof of completion of any course which promotes as a major objective safety in the handling of firearms and of bow and arrows and which course is approved by the hunter education association or the director, or provides a State of West Virginia resident or nonresident hunting license from the previous hunting season that displays a certification of training, or attests that a hunter training course has been completed when purchasing a license or stamp online: Provided, That after January 1, 2013, a person may be issued a Class AH, Class AHJ, Class AAH and Class AAHJ apprentice hunting and trapping license pursuant to the provisions of section forty-two-y of this article and is exempt from the hunter training requirements set forth herein: Provided however, That a developmentally disabled person seeking a base hunting license must attend the on-site hunter training course and must successfully complete all non-written aspects of the course to receive a modified certificate of training if that person's developmental disability affects his or her ability to undertake a written test.
(b) The director shall establish a course in the safe handling of firearms and of bows and arrows, such as the course approved by the Hunter Education Association. This course shall be given at least once per year in each county in this state and shall be taught by instructors certified by the director. In establishing and conducting this course, the director may cooperate with any reputable association or organization which promotes as a major objective safety in the handling of firearms and of bows and arrows: Provided, That any person holding a Class A-L or AB-L lifetime resident license obtained prior to his or her fifteenth birthday shall be required to obtain a certificate of training as provided in this section before hunting or trapping pursuant to said license. This course of instruction shall be offered without charge, except for materials or ammunition consumed. Upon satisfactory completion of the course, each person instructed in the course shall be issued a certificate of training for the purposes of complying with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section. The certificate shall be in the form prescribed by the director and shall be valid for hunting license application purposes.
(c) (1) Upon satisfactory completion of this course, any person whose hunting license has been revoked for a violation of the provisions of this chapter may petition the director for a reduction of his or her revocation time. However, under no circumstances may the time be reduced to less than one year.
(2) Successful completion of this course shall be required to consider the reinstatement of a hunting license of any person whose license has been revoked due to a conviction for negligent shooting of a human being or of livestock under the provisions of section fifty-seven of this article, and who petitions the director for an early reinstatement of his or her hunting privileges. Such a petitioner shall also comply with the other requirements for consideration of reinstatement contained in section thirty-eight of this article.
(d) It is unlawful for any person to falsify, alter, forge, counterfeit or utter a certificate of training. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, or confined in jail for a period not to exceed one year, or both fined and imprisoned.
Nothing herein contained
shall This section does not mandate that any a county
school district in the state be is responsible for implementing
hunter safety education programs.
(f) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a base hunting license may be issued to any person who has a developmental disability and who has a modified certificate of training issued by the division authorizing the person to purchase a base hunting license. For purposes of this subsection "developmentally disabled" has the same meaning as prescribed in section twenty-eight-j of this article.
(2) As part of the application process for a license purchased under a modified certificate of training, a person with a developmental disability shall present to the division a written application form furnished by the director and signed by a licensed physician indicating that the person is:
(A) Unable to successfully complete a standard written test administered as part of the hunter training course;
(B) At all times capable of understanding and following directions given by another person; and
(C) Not a danger to himself or herself or others while engaged in hunting with a firearm.
(3) A person with a license purchased under a modified certificate of training may not hunt or trap unless he or she is in possession of all other required documentation and stamps and is accompanied and directly supervised by an adult eighteen years of age or older who either possesses a valid West Virginia hunting license or has the lawful privilege to hunt pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. For purposes of this subsection, "accompanied and directly supervised" means that a person maintains a close visual and verbal contact with, provides adequate direction to and can assume control of the firearm from the developmentally disabled person.
(4) Any person violating the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, is subject to the punishment and penalties prescribed in section nine, article seven of this chapter.