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Cutler Legislation to Check Powers of Wildlife Conservation Offers Becomes Law

Cutler Legislation to Check Powers of Wildlife Conservation Offers Becomes Law
HARRISBURG – Legislation authored by Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) to amend the powers and duties of wildlife conservation officers, bringing them into line with current case law and the Constitution, was signed into law on Oct. 7.
“This legislation is about ensuring the constitutional rights of all Pennsylvania citizens, and specifically sportsmen,” said Cutler. “The proposal enjoyed wide support from the Pennsylvania Game Commission and groups as varied as the American Civil Liberties Union and hunters.  It received unanimous support in both the House and Senate.”
Act 64 of 2010 specifies that vehicles can only be stopped under reasonable suspicion or under the administrative procedures for road check points. It will also limit searches to cases where there is probable cause, consent, exigent circumstances or other exceptions to warrant requirements established by legal precedent, bringing the Game and Wildlife Code in line with current case law.
Cutler noted that game commission officers are already constitutionally required to act under these guidelines, but some sportsmen have correctly noted that the prior game code was vague when it came to stops and searches.
“This law clearly outlines the duties of game commission officers and the rights of sportsmen,” said Cutler. “We hold law enforcement officials to very strict constitutional standards and it is important to be consistent across all groups.”
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