South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Readshaw bill gains approval


 The state House gave unanimous approval to a bill sponsored by Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, that would protect landowners from liability for the actions of hunters they allow on their property.

 Rep. Readshaw said the action is urgently needed because a growing number of property owners who had allowed public access for hunting in the past have declared that they will close their land off to the public for hunting beginning this fall.

 The landowners are reacting to the outcome of a case in Lehigh County, where a judge ruled the property owner was partially liable for an injury to a woman a half-mile away who was injured by a hunter's stray bullet.

Originally, Rep. Readshaw's bill (H.B. 13) had included protection for other uses of property, such as fishing, hiking, snowmobiling and four-wheel driving, but questions arose about the other uses and Rep. Readshaw took them out of the bill in committee in order to accelerate it to a House vote.

“There are fears for the impact on hunters and also on the merchants who depend on hunting for a large portion of their livelihood, unless we get the liability issue taken care of well before the opening of the small- and big-game seasons this fall,” said Rep. Readshaw.

 ”With the timing such an important factor now, I'm hoping that the Senate will act promptly so Pennsylvania hunters can enjoy a normal season, rather than find themselves shut out of virtually all but state game land.”

 The bill now moves on to the Senate, where it is expected to be referred to the Game and Fisheries Committee for consideration.


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