Ohio Law Would Require Hunting Applicants to Fess Up About Felonies

| by Dabney Bailey
article imagearticle image

Do you want to hunt deer in Ohio? Well, you will have to fess up about your crimes if Cleveland lawmaker Rep. Bill Patmon (D) gets his way. Patmon has introduced changes to HB 184, which would require hunting license applicants to disclose whether they have committed a felony.

As it stands, applicants only need to disclose basic information such as their name, date of birth, weight and residence. This new law could raise privacy concerns for some gun owners.

“HB 184 introduces a necessary requirement for those individuals who wish to apply for and obtain a hunting or fishing license, wetlands habitat stamp, deer or wild turkey permit or fur taker permit,” Patmon said. “The purpose of disclosing a felony conviction is so that we are better able to make distinctions between law-abiding citizens who have given us no reason to distrust them with a firearm and those citizens who are convicted felons and should therefore be restricted in access to and use of firearms when discussing wildlife sporting activities.”

The bill already has a few backers, including Rep. Mike Foley (D) and Rep. John Becker (R).

On the one hand, it is reasonable to put hunters through the same rigorous approval process that any other gun purchaser has to endure in Ohio. On the other, examining criminal history with hunting licenses is a little bit unusual because hunting rifles are not a very popular choice among criminals. They do not provide the killing power of assault rifles or the convenience of pistols.

Do you think that the law should pass? Is it a good idea that Ohio legislators are trying to keep felons from getting guns in all situations? Or do you feel that targeting hunters somehow goes too far?

Source: DLN News