House Bill 2574 passed through the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee yesterday. It would allow honorably-discharged veterans to be automatically declared to have met the requirements for a certificate of competency for an Illinois hunting license.
Davidsmeyer says he wrote the bill because starting this year, people 33 years old or younger must take a hunter safety course to get a hunter license.
“My only concern was that if a veteran came in who obviously has greater knowledge and greater understanding of gun safety and things of that sort, they wouldn’t necessarily need to take the ten-hour in-person course,” Davidsmeyer says.
“I did work with the Department of Natural Resources with one concern- they wanted to make sure that everyone took the online portion, which includes game limits and things like that- the number of ducks or geese or whatever that you can kill. So, it’s a pretty good bill. It seems pretty common-sense, and I was happy to push the bill," he adds.
Davidsmeyer says veterans who return home should not have to jump through bureaucratic hoops for something already basic to armed forces personnel. He hopes this will eliminate one of the headaches they have to endure.
“We don’t provide enough for them currently, but right now ,it’s the little things that we can do to make a difference,” he says. “And it’s the little things that, I think, we’re trying to do to make some of that difference.”
Davidsmeyer says the bill got out of committee without the amendment from the Department of Natural Resources, which is currently being heard. The bill will now go to the full House for consideration.