INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana lawmaker says a mistake in recently passed legislation now prohibits hunters from using any kind of rifle to hunt deer on public property, which includes state and federal land.
Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville, authored House Bill 1415. He said the bill was meant to clarify rules regarding the use of high velocity ammunition on private property. But an error in the bill means hunters will only be able to use rifles to hunt deer on private grounds.
The bill was reviewed by many individuals and departments, but no one caught the inadvertent change when the bill first passed, Eberhart said.
Hunters who don’t have access to private land will have to buy new equipment to ensure they’re not breaking the law, said Allen Edwards, owner of Corydon sporting goods store Gun World.
“The feeling is we probably could’ve been a little more prepared if we knew about this in April, May or even June,” Edwards said.
Rifles are a common first firearm for children learning to hunt, he said.
“This may create an impact where dad or uncle has to go out to get new guns for his kids to be able to hunt now,” Edwards said.
Eberhart said he hopes to come up with a short-term solution and then fix the law when the Legislature reconvenes in January.
Deer hunting season for firearms begins Nov. 18.