Two New States Permit Bowhunters to Pack for Protection

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posted on June 30, 2015
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A measure approved by Louisiana lawmakers earlier this month and signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal allows bowhunters to carry any caliber firearm while afield with a bow. Previously, hunting archers were limited to .22 cal. sidearms.

SB 212 was sponsored by Sen. Rick Ward (R-Port Allen) and became effective with the governor’s signature.

Earlier this year, the Nevada Wildlife Commission approved a temporary regulation allowing bowhunters to carry firearms for personal protection while hunting, which was in response to a bill introduced in the state legislature (AB 136) aimed at removing the longstanding restriction of handguns in the field for bowhunters. The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Jon Ellison (R-33), was signed by Governor Sandoval in late May.

The new law allows a person to carry any handgun that is not scoped or has a barrel length exceeding 8 inches. It took effect on July 1, replacing the temporary regulations put in place by the Wildlife Commission earlier.

While state-by-state regulations vary, most simply permit those with valid state concealed handgun permits to carry while bowhunting. Still, about a dozen states continue to prohibit bowhunters from carrying a firearm for personal protection.

Because hunting archers enjoy their pursuits in some of the country’s most remote and rural areas, lawmakers in a growing number of states understand they are left vulnerable by the prohibition on carrying a handgun for self-defense. With outdoor crime being a true threat due to clandestine drug operations and other illegal activities, bowhunters should not be left defenseless.

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