Fatal hunting accidents are rare in Missouri….But one involving a hunter from a senate leader’s area could lead to a harsh penalty.
Senate floor leader Tom Dempsey of St. Charles thinks anyone who causes the death of a hunter should lose the right to hunt in Missouri for ten years. It’s been six years since constituent Russell Emerling was killed in a Camden County turkey hunting incident.
State law now allows the conservation commission to suspend hunting privileges for five years for someone who injures another hunter…This bill covers deaths.
But Senator Jason Crowell isn’t sure doubling the punishment in case of death is warranted. “What are we, still mad at this guy?” he asks.
Dempsey says the commission should be able to dish out more serious punishment when the accidental shooting is fatal.
But Crowell complains the bill allows the commission to punish someone with no due process protections.
The man who killed Ermeling was put on five years probation after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
Dempsey’s bill has been sent to the House.
AUDIO: Dempsey & Crowell debate 4:40