Last year’s approval of the so-called “Castle Doctrine” by the state legislature has led the Wildlife Commission to tweak some hunting rules and proposals.
Castle Doctrine refers to allowing legal gun owners to possess a firearm for personal defense, either in their homes, in some public places or in a vehicle. State current wildlife laws, however, prohibit possession of a firearm in some areas during closed seasons, or on some types of public hunting lands at specific times of the year. Possession of a firearm and a spotlight in some rural areas has long been considered an indicator – if not evidence – of night hunting.
The action by the General Assembly last year led to changes in some state and local rules regarding possession of firearms in public parks and other areas that were not covered by existing laws. Castle Doctrine does not allow possession or carriage of a firearm on school properties, courthouses, government offices or businesses that prohibit firearms on the premises.