2020 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 11 - Offenses Against Public Order and Safety
Article 4 - Dangerous Instrumentalities and Practices
Part 1 - General Provisions
§ 16-11-108. Misuse of Firearm or Archery Tackle While Hunting

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-11-108 (2020)
  1. Any person who while hunting wildlife uses a firearm or archery tackle in a manner to endanger the bodily safety of another person by consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his act or omission will cause harm to or endanger the safety of another person and the disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation is guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, however, if such conduct results in serious bodily harm to another person, the person engaging in such conduct shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, or both.
  2. Whenever a person is charged with violating subsection (a) of this Code section, the arresting law enforcement officer shall take the hunting license of the person so charged. The hunting license shall be attached to the court's copy of the citation, warrant, accusation, or indictment and shall be forwarded to the court having jurisdiction of the offense. A copy of the citation, warrant, accusation, or indictment shall be forwarded, within 15 days of its issuance, to the Game and Fish Division of the Department of Natural Resources.
  3. In order to obtain a temporary hunting license, a person charged with violating subsection (a) of this Code section must present to the director of the Game and Fish Division of the Department of Natural Resources a certificate of satisfactory completion, after the date of the incident for which the person was charged and regardless of the person's age or date of birth, of a hunter education course prescribed by the Board of Natural Resources. A temporary hunting license issued under such circumstances shall be valid until the next March 31 or until suspended or revoked under any provision of this title or of Title 27. The director of the Game and Fish Division of the Department of Natural Resources may renew the temporary hunting license during the pendency of charges.
    1. If the person is convicted of violating subsection (a) of this Code section, the court shall, within 15 days of such conviction, forward the person's hunting license and a copy of the record of the disposition of the case to the Game and Fish Division of the Department of Natural Resources. At this time, the court shall also require the person to surrender any temporary hunting licenses issued pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this Code section.
    2. If the person is not convicted of violating subsection (a) of this Code section, the court shall return the hunting license to the person.

(Code 1981, §16-11-108, enacted by Ga. L. 1989, p. 292, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Required hunter education courses, § 27-2-5.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Offense as predicate to felony-murder conviction.

- Offense of misuse of a firearm while hunting can serve as the predicate felony to a felony murder conviction. Chapman v. State, 266 Ga. 356, 467 S.E.2d 497 (1996).

Evidence of motive and intent.

- Trial court's admission of evidence of writing on defendant's bedroom wall for the purpose of showing defendant's motive for killing defendant's brother in a case where defendant shot and killed the brother while the two were out hunting and claimed it was an accident was at most harmless error since the offense on which defendant was convicted, felony murder by misusing a firearm while hunting, and its underlying predicate offense of consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk, did not require a motive or intent. Furthermore, the offense of felony murder by misuse of a firearm could be used to serve as the predicate offense for a felony murder conviction. Hames v. State, 278 Ga. 182, 598 S.E.2d 459 (2004).

Evidence sufficient to sustain conviction.

- Sufficient evidence supported convictions of aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, and felony misuse of a firearm while hunting, and negated the defense of accident after the victim who was shot by defendant while hunting waved to signal defendant before the gun was fired and since the defendant was hunting while on medication that could have caused mental and physical impairment; the jury also could have considered defendant's actions after the shooting in removing the victim's orange vest, hiding two guns, failing to aid the victim, and failing to alert paramedics of the victim's location. Wilson v. State, 279 Ga. App. 136, 630 S.E.2d 640 (2006).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting required for violators.

- Violation of the misdemeanor provisions of O.C.G.A. § 16-11-108 includes as an element the misuse of firearms or archery tackle; fingerprinting persons charged with this offense is mandatory, since it necessarily involves the use of firearms or dangerous weapons. 1989 Op. Att'y Gen. 89-52.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Hunting Accident Litigation, 27 Am. Jur. Trials 261.

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