The Tennessee Senate today unanimously passed legislation by Senator Roy Herron, D-Dresden, establishing the crime of "hunting under the influence."
"Drinking or drugging and shooting is at least as dangerous as drinking or drugging and driving, and the penalties for doing it ought to be just as serious," Herron said. "We have laws that severely punish driving under the influence and boating under the influence. This bill establishes the crime of hunting under the influence and deals out the same strong punishment."
Under SB1566, anyone that hunts on public lands or public waters "with a firearm while under the influence of drugs, or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more" would be guilty of hunting under the influence. A first offense would be punished by 48 hours in jail, a fine of between $350 and $1,500, and the loss of a Tennessee hunting license for one year. Very drunk offenders would be jailed for up to seven days.
A second offense would be punished by a sentence of between 45 days and 11 months and 29 days in jail, a fine of between $600 and $3,500, and loss of a Tennessee hunting license for two years. Punishment for a third offense increases to between 120 days and 11 months and 29 days in jail, a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000, and loss of a Tennessee hunting license for three years.
"People on drugs or drunk have no business handling weapons. Firearms and fire water don't mix," Herron said. "Those that shoot deadly rifles and shotguns when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol endanger not only themselves but other hunters -- and they unfortunately give ammunition to anti-hunting groups that would try to take away our Second Amendment rights."
Story Courtesy: The Tennessee Senate