In Montana, by law, any parent who has not paid child support may be denied a hunting or fishing license. Initially introduced in February by State Senator Mike Lang, this bill received some criticism, but was signed into law on May 19. With over 30,000 open cases involving child support and 104,000 hunting residents, Montana’s families could see a benefit from this new law.
Effective July 1 2017, a person will not be denied a license automatically, but the possibility of revocation may be the motivation some parents need to pay the child support they owe.
As the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation reported, the average U.S. hunter spends at least $2,500 a year. The unpaid parties believe the money spent on permits and gear should be sacrificed if child support is overdue.
Although some residents applaud the new law as a creative solution, others view it as a slippery slope of government involvement into Montanans’ personal lives. If this method is successful for a few years, some worry what the state will withhold next.
For now, the option to deny a hunting, fishing or trapping license will be used as the new driving force for parents to pay unpaid child support.
Source: Missoula Current and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation