How does a felon get a hunting license? Where in the various application processes is the breakdown? Something needs to be done to prevent those that are prohibited from hunting from obtaining tags. To completely stop it is a pipe dream, I know this, but in this case, this is just a complete failure. Jeffrey Pierce was a Republican member of the Maine House of Representatives and lost his re-election in November 2018. Pierce is also a convicted felon, charged with drug trafficking for selling cocaine and weed to undercover troopers in 1983. He was pardoned by Maine’s governor for his drug crimes, but his conviction still prevents him from owning firearms. Pierce has been charged with 3 counts of illegally obtaining a hunting license. A class E misdemeanor that carries $1,000 fine and up to 6 months jail time per count.

The former lawmaker has hunted in Maine and purchased rifle permits for years since his felony conviction. State and federal regulations prohibit felons from owning a firearm, Maine law also prohibits felons from applying for firearm permits. When applying for a permit in Maine, you must specify if you are a felon or prohibited from owning a firearm. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife does not conduct criminal background checks on applicants. Here is where the failure is, while I don’t condone intrusive background checks for no reason, there has to be some sort of system in place to alert officials if a prohibited person is applying. This man stole deer, turkey, and even a moose over the years from the hunters of Maine. State laws pertaining to game and fish application violations have a 3-year statute of limitations which prevented wardens from charging Pierce with more crimes.

The hunters that hunt Maine need to press MDIFW into catching these guys sooner. There is no reason a convicted felon should be able to apply and receive tags. Pardon or not the former lawmaker should have known better. I hope the judge imposes the maximum per count and sets an example that this will not be tolerated.

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