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H. B. 4431


         (By Delegates Swartzmiller, Diserio, D. Poling,

         Jones, Boggs, Lynch, Young, R. Phillips, Marcum,

                   Manypenny and Ferro)

[Passed March 7, 2014; in effect ninety days from passage.]


AN ACT to amend and reenact §20-2-37 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to clarifying that persons who possess firearms, hunting dogs or other indicia of hunting or taking wildlife in or near fields, woods or streams do not necessarily need to have a hunting license; and requiring the totality of the circumstances be considered before it can be concluded that a person has been hunting, fishing, trapping or taking wildlife.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §20-2-37 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:


§20-2-37. Display of license, etc., by persons in possession of hunting, fishing, etc., paraphernalia.

    (a) Any person having in his or her possession in or near the fields or woods, or about the streams of this state, any wildlife, hunting dog or other hunting, fishing or trapping paraphernalia, implements or devices suitable for taking wildlife under circumstances indicating he or she has been hunting, trapping, fishing or otherwise taking wildlife, shall, upon demand of any officer authorized to enforce this chapter:

    (1) State his or her correct name and address;

    (2) Exhibit for inspection all license and documents or other lawful authorization for hunting, fishing, trapping or otherwise taking wildlife required to be carried pursuant to this chapter; and

    (3) Exhibit for inspection all such wildlife, paraphernalia, implements or devices which he or she has in his or her possession.

    (b) Mere possession of a firearm does not, in and of itself, indicate that a person has been hunting, fishing, trapping or taking wildlife, but may be considered along with other evidence in a determination as to whether a person has been hunting, fishing, trapping or otherwise taking wildlife.

    (c) Nothing in this section may be construed as authorizing searches that violate article three, section six of the West Virginia Constitution or the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, nor may anything in this section be construed as effecting a waiver of these Constitutional provisions.


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