Senate Bill No. 442
(By Senators Unger, Kessler (Mr. President), D. Hall, Fitzsimmons
[Introduced March 5, 2013; referred to the Committee on Natural
Resources; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary .]
A BILL to amend and reenact §20-2-37 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to allowing shooters who are in
possession of a firearm in or near the woods to not have to
possess a valid hunting license.
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:
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-37. Display of license, etc., by persons in possession of
hunting, fishing, etc., paraphernalia.
person having in his or her possession in or near the
fields or woods, or about the streams of this state, any dog, gun, fishing rod or other hunting, fishing or trapping paraphernalia,
shall, upon demand of any officer authorized to enforce the
provisions of this chapter may require any person who is hunting,
pursuing, or in possession of game in or near the fields or woods
or about the streams of this state to state his or her correct name
and address, and shall exhibit for inspection: (a) (1) All
applicable licenses and documents set forth in section thirty-six
of this article; and (b) (2) all firearms and wildlife which he or
she may have in his or her possession.
(b) The mere fact that a person possesses a firearm shall not
trigger the authority of subsection (a) but may be considered along
with other evidence in a determination as to whether a person is
hunting or pursuing game.
____(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.
NOTE: The purpose of this section is to better clarify the
distinction between hunters and shooters in the field. It would
allow shooters who are in possession of a firearm in or near the
woods to not have to possess a valid hunting license.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.