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CA roadkill laws?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by MovedWest, Aug 17, 2010.

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  1. MovedWest

    MovedWest Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Silicon Valley
    My wife and I were headed home this weekend and hit a possum in the road. It was 2am and we were in the middle of nowhere. Even though I had my 44mag and ammo in the trunk (unloaded of course), I was a bit wary to stop to check on it. We kept driving and made it home safely.

    It then occurred to me that if I had decided to stop and found the animal still alive, would it have been legal for me to dispatch it on the side of the road? There were no buildings for probably at least half a mile in any direction and it was definitely outside the city limits.

    Would it be legal for me to do the humane thing under these circumstances?

  2. Colonel

    Colonel Member

    Dec 14, 2005
  3. Zoogster

    Zoogster Senior Member

    Oct 27, 2006
    Firing within X yards of a road in most counties of the state is a criminal offense.
    Firing on a road in the state is a criminal offense.
    Possessing a loaded gun on the road without a concealed carry license is a criminal offense in the vast majority of the state.

    Different counties have different minimum distances, but it is typically well over 50 yards, and can be over 300 yards. So even off the road is normally a criminal offense.

    So no, it would be illegal to shoot an animal on the road outside of self defense.
    It might also technically violate various hunting laws, and technically be poaching.

    It would also be quite possible to end up with a felony animal cruelty charge if the right people found out or animal rights groups pressured the local law enforcement after finding out.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  4. ultradoc

    ultradoc Senior Member

    May 20, 2008
    It's a possum. Who cares. Although I don't really like to see animals suffer let it go. I drive for a living and if I stopped each time I hit something it would be a long night.
  5. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Feb 16, 2003
    Ft. Worth
    I can't think of any state where firing a gun on a public road WOULD be legal in this case.

    Might be the right thing to do but gun laws have nothing to do with right and wrong unfortunately.

    And Zoogster has a good point too, there are many people today who wouldn't think it humane at all, they would think it animal cruelty.

    No popcorn needed Colonel :)
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