ND Bill Would Give Judges The Option Of Suspending Hunting, Fishing Licenses For The Guilty

This bill flew under my radar until a reader emailed me about it this morning. HB1169 would add to the sentencing alternatives available to judges in North Dakota Century Code 12.1-32-02 to allow the suspension of hunting and fishing privileges.

Here’s the pertinent text from the bill:

Every person convicted of an offense who is sentenced by the court must be sentenced to one or a combination of the following alternatives, unless the sentencing alternatives are otherwise specifically provided in the statute defining the offense or sentencing is deferred under subsection 4:

[…]

i. Suspend for a period of not less than one year the privilege to purchase or possess any certificate, permit, stamp, or license issued by the director of the game and fish department which the person is required to obtain before engaging in hunting, fishing, or trapping activities regulated under title 20.1. Upon imposition of the suspension, the court shall forward a certified copy of the suspension order to the director, along with any hunting, trapping, or fishing license or permit held by the defendant.

This change, introduced by Rep. George Keiser, is almost certainly aimed at creating another avenue of punishment for those convicted of drunk driving (a topic getting a lot of attention from other bills this session), but the punishment could be added to any sentence handed down by the courts.

It’s surprising to me that this bill hasn’t gotten more attention. It will likely cause quite a stir among those in the outdoor sporting community.

The bill passed the House last month by a 72-22 vote, and last week received a 5-2 “do pass” recommendation from the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

Update: The Senate debated and voted down this bill today on a 10-36 vote. Here’s video of the debate:

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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