Oklahoma House Committee Approves Stronger Poaching PenaltiesWed, 15 Feb 2012 15:04:50 CST
Legislation approved unanimously by a House committee would deter poaching by increasing the fine and mandating that repeat poachers lose their hunting and fishing licenses.
That's the hope of the bill's author, State Representative Pat Ownbey. House Bill 2573 would make the penalty for a first offense a fine of $500 to $1,500. The legislation makes the penalty for a second offense a fine of $1,500 to 2,500, six months in county jail or both and mandates the loss of the poacher’s hunting and fishing licenses for 1 to 10 years.
“The current minimum fine of $50 will not deter poachers and there is no special penalty for repeat offenders,” said Ownbey (R-Ardmore). “A traffic ticket costs more money and we all know how many people speed. I decided to set the fine to match current trespassing penalties. We simply need a penalty that matches the crime and deters people from this illegal activity.”
House Bill 2573 was approved by the House Agriculture, Wildlife and Environment Committee and now proceeds to the House floor for consideration.
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