In a Memorandum published September 24, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Law Enforcement Division has published suggested updates to NAC 503.142, which would ban the use of TrackingPoint and similar weapons for hunting in the state. The proposed changes include a number of updates to the regulations including:
- Removing the requirement that muzzle-loaders use smokeless powders. Modern muzzle-loader powders such as Blackhorn 209 are technically “smokeless” due to the chemical makeup. Blackhorn, and other powders have become very popular due to their cleaner burning characteristics.
- Ban the use of “huge military-type cartridges” such as .50 BMG and .416 Barret. The NDW would redefine acceptable calibers for hunting by imposing a limit to the cartridge length to 3 inches. According to the NDW “Virtually all other commonly used hunting cartridges have a case length less than 3 inches”
- Remove restrictions on minimum handgun cartridge length for all centerfire cartridges of .22 diameter or larger and with a barrel of 4 inches or more.
While the above is generally boiler-plate for most states, the most provocative proposed change is the ban of TrackingPoint and similar firearms through the proposed language of:
“It is unlawful to hunt big game mammal with: (a) any firearm that is equipped with any sighting system using a computer or electronically controlled firing mechanism…”
Ignoring the intended ban on TrackingPoint, there are numerous weapon systems that are moving to heavy integration of electronics. Various scopes available today use a computer to show recommended hold-overs for wind or auto-adjust turrets to compensate for length. Further, solenoid valves are being used to release trigger mechanisms, which is safer than many of the “hair triggers” available on the market today.
On its face, the regulation seems counter-intuitive. One would think the NDW would want the humane harvesting of game, which TrackingPoint and the other electronic technologies would reduce animal suffering by increasing accuracy. Further, it has the potential to reduce risk to other hunters as the shot must be marked then released, reducing the opportunity for errant projectiles.