Michigan Bans Internet Hunting

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Michigan has joined a growing number of states to ban computer-assisted hunting under three new laws signed Thursday by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

One of the laws makes it illegal to hunt using a computer to remotely control a firearm or crossbow or to operate a facility offering such an opportunity.

More than a dozen states are considering similar bans after a Texas businessman created a Web site designed to let hunters shoot exotic game animals or wild pigs on his private ranch. The site uses remote-controlled guns activated by clicking a computer mouse.

"Using computer technology to shoot at caged animals from a distance is a corruption of our proud hunting traditions," Granholm said in a written statement. "This practice is nothing more than a live-action video game."

The other new laws set up penalties for violations.

First-time offenders would face a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine. Repeat offenders could be sentenced to a maximum one-year prison sentence and a $1,000 fine.

Rep. Glenn Steil Jr. introduced the bill that bans all remote hunting.

"Firing a weapon from half a world away is not only dangerous, it also undermines the very integrity of hunting," the Cascade Township Republican said.