Share story

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina lawmaker wants to make sure hunters and others aren’t charged if they kill an animal attacking them.

State Sen. Chip Campsen is sponsoring a stand your ground law for animals for the 2018 session that 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.

“It’s not clear in state law. There’s no provision for self-defense if people violate game laws if someone’s caught in that situation,” the Isle of Palms Republican told The Charleston Post and Courier .

Campsen’s law would require anyone killing an animal in self-defense to report the killing and turn over the remains of the animal to the Department of Natural Resources.

Campsen said he hasn’t heard of anyone facing prosecution for this type of killing, but filed his bill after discovering the gap in state law while researching other legislation.

DNR legislative liaison Mike Sabaka said he has only heard of this scenario once. A deer hunter killed a bear that was climbing toward his tree stand, Sabaka said.

But the agency supports Campsen’s bill because it puts the department’s practice of not prosecuting people into state law Sabaka said.

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.


Information from: The Post and Courier,