It should have happened a long time ago but like they say better late than never.
Beginning March 1, 2013, disabled veterans in Michigan will be able to obtain free hunting and fishing licenses.
Recently, Gov. Rick Snyder signed House Bill 5292 into law (now called Public Act 339 of 2012). By doing so the governor has eliminated all fees for hunting and fishing licenses for disabled veterans.
The new law doesn’t include free lottery-based licenses. Also, the determination of who is and who isn’t a disabled veteran still falls under the purview of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
Usually, a disabled veteran is a resident that the V.A. has determined to be permanently disabled, totally disabled, or individually unemployable. It goes without saying that oneís disability canít be blindness.
Previously, disabled hunters and fishermen received a 60-percent discount.
In 2010, more than 3,000 disabled veterans received hunting or fishing licenses from the State of Michigan.
The bill was introduced earlier in 2012 by state representative Holly Hughes. One of the billís major advocates was Dave Eling, director of the Muskegon County Veterans Center.
Eling gave the Michigan governor a ìmilitary challenge coinî to thank him for singing the bill, but really all three of the previously mentioned public figures should be recognized for their efforts to get the bill passed and signed.
The new law is not only a small token of our unyielding gratitude, to paraphrase Hughes, but those who sacrificed their health to protect our country should be able to enjoy its natural beauty and resources for free.
On the same day that Gov. Snyder made hunting and fishing licenses free for Michiganís disabled veterans he also signed a law that benefits the stateís gun enthusiasts.
Snyder put his John Hancock on House Bill 5322 which allows Michiganders to carry unloaded firearms at clay ranges even if their gun is out of a case.
It may sound like a difference without a distinction, but clay shooters had to constantly put their shotguns back into their cases while they moved between stations.