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§20-2-30a. Certificate of training; falsifying, altering, forging, counterfeiting or uttering training certificate; penalties.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, no base hunting license may be issued to any person who was born on or after January 1, 1975, unless the person submits to the person authorized to issue hunting licenses a certificate of training as provided in this section or proof of completion of any course which promotes as a major objective safety in the handling of firearms and of bow and arrows and which course is approved by the hunter education association or the director, or provides a State of West Virginia resident or nonresident hunting license from the previous hunting season that displays a certification of training, or attests that a hunter training course has been completed when purchasing a license or stamp online: Provided, That after January 1, 2013, a person may be issued a Class AH, Class AHJ, Class AAH and Class AAHJ apprentice hunting and trapping license pursuant to the provisions of section forty-two-y of this article and is exempt from the hunter training requirements set forth herein.

(b) The director shall establish a course in the safe handling of firearms and of bows and arrows, such as the course approved by the Hunter Education Association. This course shall be given at least once per year in each county in this state and shall be taught by instructors certified by the director. In establishing and conducting this course, the director may cooperate with any reputable association or organization which promotes as a major objective safety in the handling of firearms and of bows and arrows: Provided, That any person holding a Class A-L or AB-L lifetime resident license obtained prior to his or her fifteenth birthday shall be required to obtain a certificate of training as provided in this section before hunting or trapping pursuant to said license. This course of instruction shall be offered without charge, except for materials or ammunition consumed. Upon satisfactory completion of the course, each person instructed in the course shall be issued a certificate of training for the purposes of complying with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section. The certificate shall be in the form prescribed by the director and shall be valid for hunting license application purposes.

(c) (1) Upon satisfactory completion of this course, any person whose hunting license has been revoked for a violation of the provisions of this chapter may petition the director for a reduction of his or her revocation time. However, under no circumstances may the time be reduced to less than one year.

(2) Successful completion of this course shall be required to consider the reinstatement of a hunting license of any person whose license has been revoked due to a conviction for negligent shooting of a human being or of livestock under the provisions of section fifty-seven of this article, and who petitions the director for an early reinstatement of his or her hunting privileges. Such a petitioner shall also comply with the other requirements for consideration of reinstatement contained in section thirty-eight of this article.

(d) It is unlawful for any person to falsify, alter, forge, counterfeit or utter a certificate of training. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, or confined in jail for a period not to exceed one year, or both fined and imprisoned.

(e) Nothing herein contained shall mandate that any county school district in the state be responsible for implementing hunter safety education programs.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2020 Regular Session
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