Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Can Game Wardens Hang Trail Cameras on Your Private Property?

    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    No agent or agency of the government is immune to the US Constitution.

    The 4th amendment has no special clause for game wardens. They are agents of the government and therefore come under the restrictions for government officials under the US Constitution and specifically the 4th amendment. The lands and animals they are regulating do not belong to the King. The Constitution was specifically written to restrict the government not the people.
    This is not altogether true.
    The US Coast Guard can board a boat and search it anytime they want based on maritime law.
    There is always an argument on another forum that I frequent on the subject.
    The USCG is polite & they ask if they can board, but you cannot stop them.

    Even if the boat is large enough to sleep, eat and live in, the 4th does not apply.
    They can walk into you vessel and search in common and open spaces along with the bilge.
    Usually this is called a " Safety Inspection "

    They sometimes have a tag-a-long local cop or water cop on their boat as well so if you might have a weapon in a state like NJ or MD, you may have a problem depending on how it is stowed.
    God Bless the American Armed Forces, Thank You All.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Can Game Wardens Hang Trail Cameras on Your Private Property?

    The problem is that 'THE PEOPLE' have for far too long acceded their Rights to various government agencies on the basis that these agencies have the 'good intentions' of peace, safety and keeping life fair for all citizens. They claim to be only enforcing the laws which were created 'for the common good'.

    However, the fact is that the government has always sought power over THE PEOPLE, especially because the Constitution clearly claims the reverse is true.

    There is no 'common good' that comes from violating the Rights of THE PEOPLE.


    The Fantasy of Peace & Safety!

    ...

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Can Game Wardens Hang Trail Cameras on Your Private Property?

    Easy fix…call the po-leece and report unknown trespassers with guns on your property. Then walk outside on your deck with your double barrel shotgun and blast two in the air

    /sarcasm

  4. #24
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    East side of the ANF, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Can Game Wardens Hang Trail Cameras on Your Private Property?

    In the middle 70s through the early 80s I was close friends with a PGC District Land Manager, and by association knew the local District Game Protector. This was when the Ross Leffler School of Conservation was still open outside of Brookville, PA and turning out new Game Protectors and Land Managers.

    My DLM friend and I used to shoot competitively, and we and our wives frequently visited, and we'd watch their kids when they went out.

    The PA warrantless search statutes that seem to bother the "but muh freedoms!" members here were in place for decades by 1980. I can attest that the DLM and DGP to which I refer did not abuse that legislation; they were trained to respect the statutes and act only when in possession of a preponderance of evidence. I guess we were fortunate in that county, and I'm sure not all counties had such well-reasoned, fair, and respectful PGC LEOs.

    That said, I cannot comment on the present day PGC law enforcement personnel, whatever they are called. I have to assume that there are good and bad PGC LEOs. But I do not hear stories of frequent warrantless searches by PGC LE personnel, and I would because it's a small county with small towns where everyone knows each other and many hunt.

    Noah
    Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Can Game Wardens Hang Trail Cameras on Your Private Property?

    I am often amazed at the minimization made of the damage done to our Republic when the Rights of citizens are clearly violated with the approval of the government - or when those potential violations are ensconced in law. These constitutional violations (or creation of unconstitutional laws) are often for the convenience of law enforcement, making it easier to catch perpetrators (of this law or that).

    The old adage has been turned on it's head... it is NOW better that some innocent citizens have their Rights violated, than that law enforcement should need to use extra effort to constitutionally find and apprehend one perp.

    While I'm glad that some LEOs, some where, showed restraint in not using the unconstitutional powers they were granted, that, by no means, mitigates the unconstitutional nature of the laws that allow those actions. And it matters not that such approval for unconstitutional actions has been on the books for a LONG TIME (while only abused a little) - it is still inappropriate approval of Violating the Rights of THE PEOPLE.

    I'll quote my own sig line - because this example is so illustrative of other such laws and attitudes:

    FREEDOM dripped from the leaky barrel and when we thirsted, there was NONE.

    ...

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Can Game Wardens Hang Trail Cameras on Your Private Property?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankHKP7 View Post
    I don't know if this has been discussed in the past... but holy hell. The game truly does belong to the king... .

    "There*s a regulatory gray area when it comes to game wardens surveilling private property, and two hunting clubs in Pennsylvania are currently challenging the issue. In December, the Punxsutawney Hunting Club and the Pitch Pine Hunting Club, which collectively own and operate over 5,000 acres of forested land, sued the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Their lawsuit alleges that PGC game wardens routinely ignored *No Trespassing* signs and locked gates in order to spy on club members without a warrant.

    Both hunting clubs are being represented by attorneys from the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm that specializes in government violations of constitutional rights.

    *People should feel secure on private property,* Frank Stockdale, president of the Punxsutawney Club, told the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette last December. *They should feel like they have privacy and seclusion. But the Pennsylvania Game Commission is making us feel the opposite. We feel invaded.*

    The lawsuit names both the PGC and game warden Mark Gritzer. The clubs complain that for years, Gritzer and other wildlife officers have regularly entered and searched their privately owned lands to check club members for compliance.

    This is fairly standard activity for game wardens, as any private-land hunter knows. If game wardens weren*t allowed to access private lands, it would be nearly impossible for them to investigate potential poaching or wildlife crimes. However, evidence turned over by the state in July revealed that in addition to surveilling hunters in person, wildlife officers had installed a trail camera on the property without the club*s knowledge or permission.

    But why is it legal for Pennsylvania game wardens to set up a trail camera on private property? Isn*t that a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against warrantless searches? Well, not exactly.

    How Law Enforcement Circumvents the Fourth Amendment
    Andrew Wimer, director of media relations for the Institute for Justice, wrote a recent op-ed in which he explains that the *Open Field Doctrine* permits state and federal law enforcement to use monitoring strategies such as motion-activated trail cameras to surveil rural lands. Initially created in 1924 and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1984, the doctrine specifically states that *government intrusion and information collection upon open fields do not constitute searches or seizures under the Fourth Amendment*even if there are fences or *no trespassing* signs around the field.* Many modern trail cameras have cellular photo and video capability, so they are able to send images to a phone or computer as they*re recorded.

    Mississippi, Montana, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington are the only states in the U.S. that do not honor the Open Fields Doctrine. In Pennsylvania as in the rest of the country, there is no limit for when federal officers can come onto private property and for how long they can watch. With the aid of modern trail cameras, this allows game wardens to constantly surveil private lands without a warrant for weeks or months at a time.

    Outdoor Life reached out to PGC for comment, and the commission directed all questions to the Pennsylvania Attorney General*s office. The AG*s office did not respond to requests for comment.

    As the lawsuit points out, Pennsylvania*s state constitution includes three Warrantless Entry Statutes (Pa. C.S.A. 303(c), 901(a)(2), 901(a)(8)) that are specific to the state*s game commission. These statues give wildlife officers the authority to enter private property, posted or otherwise, in order to conduct administrative inspections of persons, licenses, firearms, decoys, blinds, etc.

    The current lawsuit in Pennsylvania represents a constitutional challenge to these three statutes. And while it*s the most recent case of private citizens contesting the government*s right to surveil private property using trail cams, it*s certainly not the first. Similar lawsuits were filed in Texas and Tennessee in 2018.

    The outcome of the Pennsylvania case will be worth keeping an eye on as it could potentially set a new legal precedent. Until then, wildlife officers there will continue to be allowed to monitor private lands with trail cameras.

    link to website: http://https://www.outdoorlife.com/c...-private-land/
    I found a trail camera on my own property, and as I was handling my rifle the butt of it accidently smashed it all up. Or, as I was going around painting marks on some trees I planned to cut, there was this object that looked like a trail camera that got painted over. I really should have been more careful.
    Relationships between men and women can be difficult - but not impossible.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Can Game Wardens Hang Trail Cameras on Your Private Property?

    In the case of the US Coast Guard, The majority of the boating/fishing community feel it is OK.
    They do not see it as a violation of rights, or they say, yeah it's a violation but I'm OK with it because I am doing nothing wrong.
    Those that disagree are making waves because, after all, It's a SAFETY CHECK.
    These people are OK with it because it makes THEM safer out there from the nit wits that bought a boat.
    Like what you call a FUD, I think.

    The Search And Rescue arm of the USCG is to be respected and applauded but the warrantless safety check training exercises should not be allowed.
    God Bless the American Armed Forces, Thank You All.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Can Game Wardens Hang Trail Cameras on Your Private Property?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frizratz View Post
    In the case of the US Coast Guard, The majority of the boating/fishing community feel it is OK.
    They do not see it as a violation of rights, or they say, yeah it's a violation but I'm OK with it because I am doing nothing wrong.
    Those that disagree are making waves because, after all, It's a SAFETY CHECK.
    These people are OK with it because it makes THEM safer out there from the nit wits that bought a boat.
    Like what you call a FUD, I think.

    The Search And Rescue arm of the USCG is to be respected and applauded but the warrantless safety check training exercises should not be allowed.
    How much can they search? Is rifling through private possessions allowed? To my mind a visual check of safety items would be okay, sort of like a cop looking through the window of your car. Anything else like going into your truck should require a warrant.
    Relationships between men and women can be difficult - but not impossible.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Can Game Wardens Hang Trail Cameras on Your Private Property?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walleye Hunter View Post
    My game cam is password protected and registered with the mfg. You might take it but you won't ever get to use it.
    Neither will you. How many people have been convicted of trespassing using trail cameras, Anyone know a story?

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Can Game Wardens Hang Trail Cameras on Your Private Property?

    Quote Originally Posted by free View Post
    I'm shocked that Such cameras survive their first encounter with a person legally on the property.
    For once I agree with Free, that rimes.
    God Bless Thomas Paine, a true revolutionary.
    Where the government fears the people, there is freedom.
    Where the people fear the government is Slavery.

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