Legislature’s “Oops” Ban on Indiana Rifle Hunting


Legislature’s “Oops” Ban on Indiana Rifle Hunting

Yet another example of how badly government does its job; in an attempt to clarify laws regarding what types of rifles may be used for hunting in the state of Indiana, state lawmakers reportedly managed to ban the use of all rifles for hunting Indiana’s public lands.

Last year, rifles could only be used to hunt on public land if they were chambered for handgun cartridges (357 Magnum, 44 magnum, etc), while hunters on private land were free to also use higher-velocity rifle cartridges. The law in question here was supposed to make the rifle rules the same for public and private lands, but instead it managed to ban all public-land rifle hunting.

Indiana DNR specifies that “‘public land’ includes both state and federal property.”

When questioned how neither he nor any of the law co-signers caught the oversight before it was voted on, [Republican State Representative Sean] Eberhart responded, “That’s a good question, not only did we not catch it as myself or any other legislator, LSA didn’t catch it, no other department didn’t catch it, DNR didn’t catch it, so we had a lot of eyes on this bill and no one caught that inadvertent change.”

Will this be fixed in time for deer season, which apparently begins on November 18? Nobody seems to know.

‘I’m very confident we can address it come session time in January… but it’s my hope that we can address it short term as well,’ said Eberhart.
What that short term fix could be and whether it can happen fast enough for this season, which starts November 18th, isn’t clear.


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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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