Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, just convinced the Senate Judiciary Committee to endorse his bill to revoke hunting privileges for life for anyone who shoots someone while hunting and then is convicted of manslaughter. “It seems to me that a person’s life is worth more than that of a moose,” Jorgenson told his fellow senators on the panel. “If you go out and shoot a moose illegally, you’ll lose your hunting privileges for life.”
The lawyers on the committee had lots of questions about the bill – for example, Jorgenson said it wouldn’t apply to someone who shot their hunting partner by accident, but Sen. Mike Burkett, D-Boise, an attorney, pointed out, “Manslaughter is negligence or accident – that’s what manslaughter is.” Sen. Kate Kelly, D-Boise, also an attorney, noted that a charge of involuntary manslaughter is covered by the bill. “By definition, involuntary manslaughter, you didn’t intend to kill,” she noted.
But Jon Heggen, bureau chief for law enforcement for the state Department of Fish & Game, said the F&G Commission had its staff analyze the bill, and during a telephone conference this morning, the commissioners adopted a motion supporting it. “We appreciate Sen. Jorgenson’s bringing to the forefront this legislation,” Heggen told the senators.
At that, the committee passed the bill, SB 1022, and sent it to the full Senate for a vote.