State lawmaker: ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws should cover animal attacks

by | December 26, 2017 11:21 am

A South Carolina legislator from Charleston is looking to ensure that hunters and other residents don’t face criminal charges should they kill an animal that attacks them.
Sen. Chip Campsen has sponsored a ‘Stand Your Ground’ law for animals for the 2018 Legislative Session. The law, if passed, would prevent wildlife officers from charging someone with killing an animal out of season or without a license if they are acting in self-defense. The law would also require anyone who killed an animal in self-defense to report the incident immediately and turn over the remains of the animal to the state Department of Natural Resources.
Presently, Campsen said he’s never heard of any resident facing such prosecution, but said he filed his bill after discovering the gap in state law while researching other legislation.
“It’s not clear in state law,” Campsen, R-Isle of Palms, told The Post and Courier of Charleston. “There’s no provision for self-defense if people violate game laws if someone’s caught in that situation.”
DNR Legislative Liaison Mike Sabaka said, however, he has heard of such a scenario: A deer hunter killed a bear that was climbing toward his tree stand.
“Wildlife attacks on people are rare in South Carolina in large part because few animals native to the state are big enough to take on a human,” Sabaka said.
Still, Sabaka said the agency supports Campsen’s bill “because it puts the department’s practice of not prosecuting people into state law.”

comments » 3

  1. Comment by Ted E. Caddell

    December 26, 2017 at 16:49

    I think this is a much needed expansion of the ‘stand your ground” law.To many times people let their dogs run loose or they are not properly fenced. Last year a loose dog came into my yard and threatened my wife. She was able to get into the house. If I had been at home I would have shot the dog . If an animal {wild or domestic}Is aggressive you don’t wait for it to attack. I learned that lesson in first grade when I was bitten by a rabid dog on the school grounds on Wadmalaw Island.[1942]

  2. Comment by james

    December 26, 2017 at 18:44

    Hunting dogs running loose should be banned . many times my daughter has gone outside to be greeted by several starving hunting dogs that haven’t been caught or just left. Never know what they will do but if they are aggresive that will be the last day they hunt

  3. Comment by Jack Billington

    December 27, 2017 at 01:23

    If you asked me, I would say: “This is neccessary”. Irresponsible owner puts people at risk.
    The real case – I came to visit my sister (visit her and my nephew). We went out for a walk in the street, and there a neighbor from a neighboring house was walking with his bulldog. He was without a leash and without a muzzle – and he jumped abruptly in our direction. Fortunately I had the dog repellent. If you don’t have one, I suggest you cosider to buy it. a good compilation.

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