The answer appears to be yes as there is nothing in the law that prevents a person convicted of a felony crime from legally obtaining a hunting license in the state of Colorado. On the other hand, it is illegal for such a person to possess a firearm in the state so it may seem like a catch 22 type of scenario. The state of Colorado issues more than 300,000 hunting licenses every year.
How many of those licenses are issued to individuals convicted of a felony crime however is unknown because information pertaining to hunting licenses is not publicly available. And unlike most gun purchases, the purchase of a hunting license does not require a criminal background check. The loophole apparently exists even though non-felonious hunters, such as individuals behind on child support are ineligible to hunt.
Hunting advocates and gun enthusiasts believe the law should be amended so that individuals convicted of a non-violent felony can be allowed to hunt. Some interested parties do not think there is a problem with the current system and believe law enforcement officials and state legislators have more important issues to deal with. There are some states that prohibit anyone convicted of a felony crime from purchasing or possessing a hunting license, should Colorado be one of them?
One hunting enthusiast believes the state should differentiate between violent and non-violent felony convictions. People make mistakes sometimes and often learn from those mistakes and should be given a second chance in some cases. It is possible to get a conviction expunged or reversed in certain circumstances. Someone who takes the time and expense to apply for and purchase a hunting license is probably more likely to obey the law than someone out there looking to game the system.
This particular topic demonstrates the impact a felony criminal conviction can have on a person’s life long after any fines or prison sentences are served. For many individuals charged with a crime, consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney before speaking with the authorities can make a difference in the severity of the charges and may even reduce or eliminate the possibility of a conviction in the first place.
Source: Daily Camera, ” Felons set sights for hunting in Colorado,” Ryan Parker, Jan. 22, 2013
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