State To Respect Hunting License Suspense

New York state will honor the suspension or revocation of hunting licenses in other states under legislation that has passed both houses of the state Legislature.

A.3217 passed the Assembly on June 6 and passed the Senate on Tuesday. Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, and Assemblyman Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, both voted in favor of the bill on the Assembly floor. The legislation was introduced in the 2017-18 legislative session but was not approved.

Since 2005, New York state has been part of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, a document with an article calling for reciprocal recognition of license suspensions amongst all participating states.

While there were 16 states when New York joined, there are 30 states now participating with Pennsylvania expected to join soon. Each participating state is responsible for communicating suspension information to the other participating states.

There is currently a backlog of 5,000 revocations and that number is expected to grow as more states adopt the compact. New York’s law adds to the backlog because state law requires that the violation for which a person’s license has been suspended or revoked be identical to a violation in New York state law.

“This additional requirement allows many egregious violators of wildlife laws in other member states (some even New York State residents) to escape revocation in New York due to narrow scope of revocable offenses under the (Environmental Conservation Law),” wrote Assemblyman Vivian Cook, D-Jamaica, in the bill’s statement of support.

Amending the Environmental Conservation Law will help eliminate the backlog by making all suspensions eligible for revocation in New York state. Notices would no longer have to be reviewed and processed individually and additional staffing to review the review could be eliminated.

“Most importantly however, it will protect wildlife and legitimize the program by revoking the hunting and or fishing privileges of all persons who have committed serious wildlife offenses in other member states,” Cook wrote.

The legislation will be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.