113-270.1A. Hunter safety course required.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (a1) and (d) of this section, on or after July 1, 2013, a person, regardless of age, may not procure a hunting license in this State without producing a hunter education certificate of competency or one of the following issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission:

(1) A North Carolina hunting heritage apprentice permit.

(2) A hunting license issued prior to July 1, 2013.

(a1) A person who qualifies for a disabled license under G.S. 113-270.1C(b)(5) or (6), G.S. 113-270.1D(b)(7) or (8), or G.S. 113-351(c)(3)f. or g. need not comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section in order to receive that license, so long as the person does not make use of the license unless:

(1) The disabled hunter is accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age who is licensed to hunt; and

(2) The licensed adult maintains a proximity to the disabled hunter which enables the adult to monitor the activities of the disabled hunter by remaining within sight and hearing distance at all times without the use of electronic devices.

(b) The Wildlife Resources Commission shall institute and coordinate a statewide course of instruction in hunter ethics, wildlife laws and regulations, and competency and safety in the handling of firearms, and in so doing, may cooperate with any political subdivision, or with any reputable organization. The course of instruction shall be conducted as follows:

(1) The Wildlife Resources Commission shall designate those persons or agencies authorized to give the course of instruction, and this designation shall be valid until revoked by the Commission. Those designated persons shall submit to the Wildlife Resources Commission validated listings naming all persons who have successfully completed the course of instruction.

(2) The Wildlife Resources Commission may conduct the course in hunter education, using Commission personnel or Commission-approved persons.

(3) The Wildlife Resources Commission shall issue a certificate of competency and safety to each person who successfully completes the course of instruction, and the certificate shall be valid until revoked by the Commission.

(4) Any similar certificate issued outside the State by a governmental agency, shall be accepted as complying with the requirements of subsection (a) above, if the privileges are reciprocal for North Carolina residents.

(5) The Wildlife Resources Commission shall adopt rules and regulations to provide for the course of instruction and the issuance of the certificates consistent with the purpose of this section.

(c) On or after July 1, 2013, any person who obtains a hunting license by presenting a fictitious certificate of competency or who attempts to obtain a certificate of competency or hunting license through fraud shall have his hunting privileges revoked by the Wildlife Resources Commission for a period not to exceed one year.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the lifetime licenses provided for in G.S. 113-270.1D(b)(1), (2), (3), (4), and (5), and 113-270.2(c)(2), and 113-351(c)(3) may be purchased by or in the name of persons who have not obtained a hunter education certificate of competency, subject to the requirements of this subsection. Pending satisfactory completion of the hunter education course, persons who possess one of the lifetime licenses specified in this subsection may exercise the privileges of the lifetime license only when accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age who is licensed to hunt in this State. For the purpose of this section, "accompanied" means that the licensed adult maintains a proximity that enables the adult to monitor the activities of the hunter by remaining within sight and hearing distance at all times without use of electronic devices. (1989, c. 324, s. 1; 1991, c. 70, s. 1; 1997-365, s. 1; 1999-456, s. 27; 2005-438, s. 1; 2013-63, s. 1.)