Legislation & Legal Updates

Please see www.dgif.va.gov for more information.

 

Posted September 21, 2014:

Regarding HB 307 Hunter safety education; after-school programs for students in grades 7 through 12:

Approved by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on April 4, 2014, and became effective July 1, 2014:


CHAPTER 560
An Act to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered22.1-204.2, relating to after-school hunter safety education programs for students in grades seven through 12.
[H 307]
Approved April 4, 2014
 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 22.1-204.2 as follows:
§ 22.1-204.2. Hunter safety education programs for students in grades seven through 12.
A. Local school boards may provide after-school hunter safety education programs for students in the school division in grades seven through 12. Each student shall bear the cost of participating in such programs. Local school boards shall display information on its after-school hunter safety education programs in each school and distribute information to the parents of each student in the school division in grades seven through 12.
B. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries shall establish a uniform curriculum for such hunter safety education programs. Each such program shall be taught by a hunter safety instructor certified pursuant to § 29.1-300.2.


Posted March 21, 2014:

The most recent Virginia General Assembly session has yielded the following bills that are sure to have an impact on Virginia’s hunters and our hunter education community.  On Wednesday, March 5, the following three bills were signed into law by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe:

House Bill 127: Allows persons to hunt big game with muzzleloading pistols of a caliber of .45 or greater where and in those seasons when the use of muzzleloading rifles is permitted.

House Bill 715: Establishes a new combined license for persons hunting with a bow and arrow or a crossbow.

House Bill 1237: Allows Sunday hunting on private lands with written permission from the owner while still prohibiting hunting within 200 yards of a house of worship, the hunting of deer with dogs and the hunting of bear.  HB 1237’s Senate companion, Senate Bill 154, is expected to be enacted soon. (Effective July 1, 2014)

To follow these or any other bills visit Virginia’s Legislative Information system at http://lis.virginia.gov/.


VIRGINIA ACTS OF ASSEMBLY – CHAPTER

An Act to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 29.1-315.1, relating to a special hunting and fishing license for wildlife education events.

[H 2636]

Approved

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 29.1-315.1 as follows:
§ 29.1-315.1. Special permit to hunt and fish by youth during fish and wildlife education events.
Upon receipt of an application from an officer or other designated official representative of any nonprofit organization that has as one of its stated purposes to educate youth on Virginia’s fish and wildlife resources, the Director may issue a permit to an officer or representative of the organization that allows youths under the age of 18 years old who participate in a fish and wildlife educational event of the organization to hunt and fish. This permit shall serve in lieu of having to purchase a state youth resident combination hunting license pursuant to § 29.1-303.3 or state resident basic hunting license pursuant to § 29.1-303, the special license for hunting bear, deer, and turkey pursuant to § 29.1-305 and the state resident fishing license pursuant to subsection A of § 29.1-310. The permit shall be valid for a period of 48 hours. The permit fee shall be $25 or as subsequently revised by the Board pursuant to § 29.1-103. The application for the permit shall state the date upon which it will be used, the general area in which it will be used, the name of the person and organization responsible for the group of participants, and the number of participants to be covered by the permit. All youth participating in a hunting event covered by the permit shall comply with the provisions of subsection A of § 29.1-300.1 regarding competence in hunter education, or shall be accompanied and directly supervised by an adult over the age of 18 who has, on his person, a valid Virginia hunting license.

For the purposes of this section, “accompanied and directly supervised” occurs when a person over 18 years of age maintains a close visual and verbal contact with, provides adequate direction to, and can immediately assume control of the firearm from the youth participant.

VIRGINIA ACTS OF ASSEMBLY – CHAPTER

An Act to amend and reenact § 29.1-312 of the Code of Virginia, relating to special hunting permits for certain veterans.

[H 1618]

Approved

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That § 29.1-312 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
§ 29.1-312. Special fishing or hunting permits for certain veterans.
Upon application received from the director or other comparable official representing any veterans hospital or other military hospital in Virginia, any adjoining state, or the District of Columbia, the Director may permit any organized group of patients (i) actually residing in such hospitals or (ii) actively receiving outpatient medical treatment to hunt without licenses on any lands of the Commonwealth where it is otherwise legal to do so or to fish without licenses in any public waters open to fishing, including designated waters stocked with trout and in waters where a daily fishing fee has been imposed pursuant to § 29.1-318. The application for the permit shall state the date or dates upon which it will be used, the general area in which it will be used, and the name of the person or organization responsible for the group.