Internet hunting

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Internet hunting is the practice of hunting via remotely controlled firearms that can be aimed and shot using online webcams. The first internet hunting website, Live-Shot.com, was created in 2005 by John Lockwood, who saw it as a way to provide an authentic hunting experience for disabled persons.[1] According to the Humane Society, the operation consisted of "a fenced pen stocked with animals [where Lockwood] set up a tripod with a camera and a firearm". [2]

Almost as soon as internet hunting was introduced in the U.S. state of Texas, strong opposition to the practice developed among pro-gun and pro-hunting organizations, including the National Rifle Association and Safari Club International, as well as among animal rights and environmental groups. The majority of hunters do not consider the practice to be hunting, as it does not conform to the rules of a "fair chase".[1][3]

As of August 2008, forty U.S. states had enacted laws or regulations to ban internet hunting.[4] These bans were supported by a Humane Society campaign, and according to the organization, internet hunting is no longer being practiced.[3] Critics say Internet hunting never existed as a viable industry, making much of the legislation curtailing it "a testament to public alarm over Internet threats and the gilded life of legislation that nobody opposes".[5] Advocates see the legislation as a proactive measure that may yet curb the practice, which could easily spring up in states or other countries where it is not prohibited.

In the United States, Federal gun control laws (specifically the National Firearms Act of 1934) would consider any firearm capable of firing more than a single shot under the control of a computer to be a "machine gun" as it would be extremely easy to modify the controlling software so as to cause more than one shot per manipulation of the system's "trigger." Such an apparatus would require registration and taxation under the NFA of 1934, which would be nearly impossible unless the "machine gun" had been registered as such since changes to the legislation in 1986. This would apply not only to semiautomatic firearms controlled by a computer or remote user, but even to manually operated firearms such as bolt-action or lever-action firearms, since the reloading mechanism would be mechanized and controlled by the computer or remote user.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kris Axtman (April 5, 2005). "Hunting by remote control draws fire from all quarters". The Christian Science Monitor. 
  2. ^ Drew Sandholm (February 2, 2008). "Internet Hunting: Click & Kill". KSFY Action News. 
  3. ^ a b Humane Society Wildlife Abuse Campaign, Fact Sheet on Internet Hunting
  4. ^ Humane Society, Map of Internet Hunting Bans (Aug. 2008)
  5. ^ Zachary M. Seward (August 10, 2007). "Internet Hunting Has Got to Stop -- If It Ever Starts". The Wall Street Journal.