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WI - Felons buying deer hunting licenses even though they can't own guns

New Richmond News
Wheeler News Service - 10/31/2007

At least 77 felons bought Wisconsin deer hunting licenses last year even though itís illegal for them to ever have guns

The actual number is probably a lot higher.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says only one in five hunters allow their names to be released, which means the paper could only check the criminal records of a relative few.

The Department of Natural Resources picks up few of those felons. Only about 20 were caught last year.

At least 600 felons were documented to buy sporting licenses, which may or may not involve the use of guns.

Itís not against the law for felons to get gun-deer licenses, but it is a crime to use them.

Armed robbers and rapists were among those in the woods last year, creating possible tension and maybe violence.

Rep. Terry Musser, R-Black River Falls, agrees. He says heíll introduce a bill next month to require criminal background checks for the hundreds of thousands who buy deer licenses.

A similar effort failed six years ago when the DNR said it would have cost a half-million dollars just to upgrade the necessary computers.

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