UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES & HUNTING                                S.B. 926 (S-1) & 927 (S-1):

                                                                                                    SUMMARY OF BILL

                                                                                      REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Bill 926 (Substitute S-1 as reported)

Senate Bill 927 (Substitute S-1 as reported)

Sponsor:  Senator Tom Casperson (S.B. 926)

               Senator Phil Pavlov (S.B. 927)

Committee:  Outdoor Recreation and Tourism

 

CONTENT

 

Senate Bill 926 (S-1) would amend Part 401 (Wildlife Conservation) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to prohibit the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to interfere with or harass an individual who was lawfully taking an animal.

 

Part 401 prohibits an individual from obstructing or interfering in the lawful taking of animals by another individual, and prescribes actions that constitute a violation of this prohibition when the person acts knowingly or intentionally. A violation is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to 93 days and/or a fine of at least $500 but not more than $1,000. A  repeat violation is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of $1,000 to $2,500.

 

The bill would include among the illegal actions using a UAV to interfere with or harass another individual who was engaged in the process of lawfully taking an animal. "Unmanned aerial vehicle" would mean an unmanned vehicle or device that uses aerodynamic forces to achieve flight.

 

Senate Bill 927 (S-1) would amend Part 401 to prohibit an individual from taking game using a UAV.

 

Part 401 prescribes general penalties that apply to violations for which no penalty is specified. As a rule, a person who violates Part 401 regarding the possession or taking of game is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as shown below.

 

Type of Game

Fine

Imprisonment

Deer, bear, wild turkey, wolf1

$200-$1,000

5-90 days

Elk2

$500-$2,000

30-180 days

Moose1

$1,000-$5,000

90 days-1 year

All other game2

$100-$1,000

90 days maximum

1The violation is punishable by a fine and imprisonment

2The violation is punishable by a fine or imprisonment, or both

 

Enhanced misdemeanor penalties apply if the offender has been convicted of violating Part 401 twice within the preceding five years.

 

The bills are tie-barred.

 

MCL 324.40102 & 324.40112 (S.B. 926)                            Legislative Analyst:  Julie Cassidy

      324.40111c (S.B. 927)                                                                                       

 

FISCAL IMPACT

 

The bills would have no fiscal impact on State government. The penalties associated with an increase in misdemeanor convictions would have a financial cost to local jails and court systems to prosecute violations and administer the sentences. Any associated fine revenue collected from convicted offenders would be directed to local public libraries.

 

Date Completed:  9-19-14                                                    Fiscal Analyst:  John Maxwell

 

This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan Senate staff for use by the Senate in its deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.