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Colorado felons can hunt, not shoot

Jan. 22, 2013 at 7:07 PM

DENVER, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Felons in Colorado can get hunting licenses but may not possess firearms, and gun advocates say there should be an exception for non-violent felons.

Law enforcement officials say there's no reason for felons to get hunting licenses because they are legally prohibited from possessing even a bow and arrows. Still Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers report contacts every year with felons in possession of guns, The Denver Post reported Tuesday.

Dave Kopel, research director at the Independence Institute -- a libertarian think tank in Denver -- says non-violent felons should be permitted to possess weapons and hunt.

"If there is not a problem in practice, don't legislators and law enforcement have more serious problems to worry about in real life?" he said.

Gary Ellis, owner of the hunting-themed website thecoloradohunter.com, said a distinction should be drawn between violent and non-violent felons.

"Some people just screwed up," he said. "No one is perfect."

Kopel said some felons "like some other hunters, don't have enough money to put food on the table without hunting."

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