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SENATE BILL NO. 241
INTRODUCED BY S. DOHERTY, K. GALVIN-HALCRO, G. GOLIE, B. RYAN
AN ACT REVISING THE LAWS GOVERNING LICENSES FOR DISABLED HUNTERS; ALLOWING A PERSON WHO HAS PURCHASED CERTAIN LICENSES FOR A LICENSE YEAR AND WHO IS SUBSEQUENTLY CERTIFIED AS DISABLED TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR A REFUND OR REISSUANCE OF THE LICENSES AT THE STATUTORY RATE; REQUIRING THAT A DESIGNATED COMPANION ASSIST A BLIND HUNTER IN HUNTING AND FIELD DRESSING GAME; PROVIDING DEFINITIONS; GRANTING RULEMAKING AUTHORITY FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF REVIEW BOARDS TO RESOLVE DISPUTES; AND AMENDING SECTION 87-2-803, MCA.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 87-2-803, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-2-803. Persons with disabilities -- definitions. (1) Persons with disabilities are entitled to fish and to hunt game birds with only a conservation license if they are residents of Montana not residing in an institution and are certified as disabled as prescribed by departmental rule. A person who has purchased a conservation license and a resident fishing license or game bird license for a particular license year and who is subsequently certified as disabled is entitled to a refund for the fishing license or game bird license previously purchased for that license year.
(2) A resident of Montana who is certified as disabled by the department and who is not residing in an institution may purchase regular resident deer and elk licenses at one-half the fee paid by a resident who is 15 years of age or older and who is under 62 years of age. A person who has purchased a conservation license and a resident deer license or resident elk license for a particular license year and who is subsequently certified as disabled is entitled to a refund for the deer license or elk license previously purchased and reissuance of the license for that license year at the rate established in this subsection.
(3) A resident or nonresident person with a disability who is certified as disabled by the department and who is not
residing in an institution may carry a permit on a form prescribed by the department. A person with a disability who is
issued a permit under this subsection is entitled to have the department stamp the permit with "Permission to Hunt From a
Vehicle" if the person
establishes to the satisfaction of the department establishes to the satisfaction of the department that
the person is nonambulatory and has a permanent physical disability or that the person's mobility is has substantially
impaired mobility. The department shall adopt rules to establish a voluntary board or boards of review to resolve any
disputes over whether a person meets the criteria established in this subsection. Each board must have at least one
Montana-licensed physician as a member.
(4) A person with a disability carrying a permit as required in subsection (3), upon which is stamped "Permission to
Hunt From a Vehicle", may hunt by shooting a firearm from the shoulder, berm, or barrow pit right-of-way of a public
highway, as defined in 61-1-202, except a state or federal highway, or may hunt by shooting a firearm from within a
self-propelled or drawn vehicle that is parked on a shoulder, berm, or barrow pit right-of-way in a manner that will not
impede traffic or endanger motorists or that is parked in an area, not a public highway, where hunting is permitted. This
subsection does not allow a person with a disability to shoot across the roadway of any public highway or to hunt on private
property without permission of the landowner. A person with a disability who hunts as authorized in this subsection must
have a companion to assist in immediately dressing any killed game animal. The companion may also assist the
person with a disability by hunting a game animal that has been wounded by the hunter person with a disability when the
hunter person with a disability is unable to pursue and kill the wounded game animal. Any vehicle from which a person
with a disability is hunting must be conspicuously marked with an orange-colored international symbol of persons with
disabilities on the front, rear, and each side of the vehicle.
(5) (a) A resident of Montana who is certified by the department as
suffering from experiencing blindness, as defined in
53-7-301, may be issued a lifetime fishing license for the blind upon payment of a one-time fee of $10. The license is valid
for the lifetime of the blind individual and allows the licensee to fish as authorized by department rule. An applicant for a
license under this subsection need not obtain a wildlife conservation license as a prerequisite to licensure.
(b) A person who is certified by the department as experiencing blindness, as defined in 53-7-301, may be issued regular resident deer and elk licenses in the manner provided in subsection (2), and must be accompanied by a companion, as provided in subsection (4).
(6) The department shall adopt rules to establish the qualifications that a person must meet to be a companion and may adopt rules to establish when a companion can be a designated shooter for a disabled person.
(7) As used in this section:
(a) "Disabled person" or "person with disabilities" means a person experiencing a condition medically determined to be permanent and substantial and resulting in significant impairment of the person's functional ability.
(b) "Permanently physically handicapped person" means a disabled person as defined in subsection (7)(a) except for a person with a disability that is due to mental retardation or mental illness.
(c) "Substantially impaired mobility" means, with respect to a disabled person, that the person is nonambulatory or virtually unable to move on foot. The board or boards of review established pursuant to subsection (3) shall resolve any disputes regarding whether a person meets the criteria for having substantially impaired mobility."
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