Give Now

Delays, Closings and Severe Weather - View All Alerts and Updates

Changes To Firearm Law Causes Confusion Among Legislators, Hunters

A law passed in April of 2017 makes it illegal to hunt deer using rifles on public land.

Photo: strannik72 (Shutterstock.com)

A law passed in April of 2017 makes it illegal to hunt deer using rifles on public land.

An Indiana state lawmaker says a law that prohibits deer hunting with rifles on public property was passed without adequate oversight. Legislators approved House Bill 1415 in April and it’s causing confusion among hunters.

Republican State Representative Sean Eberhart authored the original version of the bill, which was intended to clarify which high-velocity rounds could be used on public property.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources released a statement last week saying the final version of the bill was different than what legislators might have intended. It also says the rifle regulation change wasn’t noticed until long after the DNR published its hunting and trapping guide for this year.

Ted Davis has been hunting in Indiana for more than 50 years. He says he’s in favor of the new rifle regulations for public property.

“I like the idea of taking those types of firearms out of the woods during hunting season,” Davis says.

Davis hunts with a muzzleloader. He says less powerful shotguns, crossbows and handguns have been effective in controlling the deer population for years. According to Davis, hunting deer with rifles is unnecessary and even dangerous.

“So, in the heat of the hunt, you may pull the trigger and not realize who’s downrange,” Davis says.

He says he understands why people are upset about the sudden change and knows people who now have no use for their expensive hunting rifles.

Representative Eberhart’s press secretary says he is currently working on several options to resolve the problem before the next legislative session. Eberhart declined to comment further.

Complete guidelines concerning the updated deer hunting law can be found here.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Sports Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook