Has Your State Banned Internet Hunting?

Update 2008:  This year Colorado enacted CO. Stat. §33-6-132 which makes internet hunting and establishing or operating a remote hunting facility illegal. Violators face fines up to $10,000 for a first offense and points and up to $100,000 and one year in jail for subsequent offenses.

Both Utah, UT Code §23-13-8 and Oklahoma, S.B. 1463 also passed laws in 2008 making internet hunting illegal in those states.

Check out ALC’s earlier reports below for more on internet hunting, the states that have banned this "sport", and the pending federal bill to stop it.

2007 Report: Several more states this past year joined a trend in banning internet hunting also known as computer-assisted or remote control hunting. 

In this practice captive animals are lured to an area within sight of a weapon mounted on a tripod or like artifice. The internet user who may be several states away then lines the animal up in the computer-controlled weapon’s sights and fires, actually killing it.

The operator of the "hunt" then packages the remains of the animal for shipping to the "hunter".  This horrific practice was prohibited in 2007 in Massachusetts, ALM GL ch. 131, §65A; Alaska, H.B. 220; Nebraska,  LB 504; Iowa, HF 671; and Delaware, HB 69.

Illinois also joined the growing number of states that have banned internet hunting. Under newly enacted 520 ILCS 5/2.33b it is illegal to operate, provide, sell, use or offer any software or service for internet hunting.

Anyone who engages in internet hunting is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. Anyone including a landowner, computer programmer, weapons or equipment distributor, who facilitates internet hunting is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. 520 ILCS 5/3.5

2006 Report: In 2006 several states banned this activity, including Maryland, Md. NATURAL RESOURCES Code §10-426; New Jersey, N.J. Stat. § 23:4-24.5; Mississippi, Miss. Code §49-7-68; Rhode Island, R.I. Gen. Laws §20-1-25; New Mexico, N.M. Stat. §17-3-49; Alabama, Code of Ala. §9-11-501; Georgia, O.C.G.A. §27-3-12; Louisiana, La. R.S. 56:116.5; New Hampshire, RSA 207:8-a; Kentucky, KRS §150.363; South Carolina, S.C. Code  §50-11-95; and Minnesota, MN Stat. §97B.115

Internet, computer-assisted or remote control hunting is also illegal in California, Cal Fish & Game Code §3003; New York, NY CLS ECL §11-1906; Vermont, 10 V.S.A. §4715; Maine, 7 M.R.S. §1347 and 12 M.R.S. §12103; Texas, Tex. Parks & Wild. Code §62.002; Virginia, Va. Code Ann. §29.1-530.3; Michigan, MCLS §750.236a, North Carolina, N.C. Gen. Stat. §113-291.1A; West Virginia, W. Va. Code §20-2-5(29); Pennsylvania, 18 Pa.C.S. §7641; Tennessee, Tenn. Code Ann. §§70-4-501-504; and Wisconsin, Wis. Stat. §169.09. 

Copies of the statutes prohibiting internet (computer-assisted or remote control) hunting and setting forth the penalties are contained in Animal Law Coalition’s Laws. 

Federal Legislation to Ban Internet Hunting

Note that there is also a bill pending in Congress, H.R. 2711/S. 2422, to outlaw this practice. The House version, H.R. 2711 is pending before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Write (faxes are best) or call members of the House committee to show your support.

The bill has 40 co-sponsors as of this writing in the  House. Click here to find out if your representative is a co-sponsor.  If not, write or call and urge him or her to co-sponsor this legislation.

The Senate version, S. 2422, is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Click here to write (faxes are best) or call committee members and urge them to pass this legislation.

The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) There are only two co-sponsors, Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Find your Senators here and urge them to co-sponsor this legislation, S. 2422, the bill to ban the cruel practice of internet hunting. 

A copy of the federal bill is available in Animal Law Coalition’s Pending Bills.