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Hunters without mandatory periodic examinations. Controversial bill passed by the Sejm. Comments

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Hunters – in the light of the current regulations – must undergo medical examinations every five years, during which their eyesight and mental condition are checked. However, this may change if President Andrzej Duda signs the deregulation act, which changes the provisions of the act on weapons and ammunition. Among others, occupational medicine doctors and some hunters are surprised by the decision. Representatives of the Polish Hunting Association, however, enjoy the vision of change.

Only for a few years has a regulation been in force that requires every hunter in Poland to undergo regular examinations that will confirm that his mental and eyesight are at a good enough level to be able to use weapons. The act amended in 2018 stipulates that such a control examination must take place once every five years. However, there are many indications that this obligation will be abolished. Last week, on April 14, the Sejm overruled the Senate’s veto (the senators wanted the deregulation bill to be rejected in its entirety). Thus, an act came to the president’s desk, which – in the name (as we read in the act) of “eliminating unnecessary administrative and legal barriers” removes the obligation of regular examinations.

Read also: The hunter killed the dog Bąbel, he claimed that he mistook it for a fox. There is a court order

Interestingly, gun owners who have a gun permit for personal protection purposes have not been exempted from the obligation to carry out regular examinations.

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Polish Hunting Association: this is very good news

Wacław Matysek, spokesman for the Polish Hunting Association, says in front of the TVN24 camera that a change in the law would be “very good news”. He does not hide that he hopes that the president Andrzej Duda will sign the bill.

– It’s not that hunters are not tested. When you pass hunting exams, you pass examinations. Every time we increase the number of weapons units, we also have to undergo research – emphasizes Matysek.

He adds that the police may, for example, send for compulsory medical examinations in the event of doubts about the hunter’s health.

Hunter: previous regulations were impreciseTVN24

Out of control

However, the introduction of the new law will mean that hunters who bought their guns many years ago will be able to go hunting without being tested. And this, as Dr. Dariusz Kraśnicki, an occupational medicine physician, says, is not a good idea.

– No one is going to be young. With time, both intellect and vision weaken. Among the elderly, research should be considered. For example, similar to those that European Union offers for older drivers – emphasizes Dr. Kraśnicki.

SEE THE MATERIAL OF “FACTS” TVN: Hunters exempted from periodic examinations. “We go through these tests in total many times”

Some hunters also have an ambivalent attitude to the upcoming changes in the law. Filip Sioch, president of the “Rolnik” hunting club in Wrocław, emphasizes that he is not against research. In front of the TVN24 camera, however, he points out that the previous regulations were “imprecise”.

– The general interpretation was that hunters must do research three months before the end of five years (from the entry into force of the Act – ed.). This means that nearly 130,000 hunters would have to undergo tests in a short time – says Sich.

He adds that previous regulations assumed that the doctor’s decision could not be appealed. He emphasizes that he is convinced that the provisions on obligatory examinations “will be corrected” and will be included in the act on weapons and ammunition again.

Occupational medicine doctor: examinations should be carried out

Occupational medicine doctor: examinations should be carried outTVN24

“Accidents? Yes, but rarely”

On tvn24.pl we regularly inform about accidents involving hunters. In recent months, we have described, among other things, the story of a hunter from Francewho is hunting in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship shot a friendwho had to have his right leg amputated. We also informed about the man’s deathwho died during a solo hunt when another hunter hit him.

Read also: The shot came from the shooting range. If someone had been standing by the window, they could have died

Wacław Matysek, spokesman for the Polish Hunting Association admits that “accidents do happen”. He points out, however, that – taking into account the number of hunters and hunting – there are “relatively few of them”.

– We have three or four fatal shootings a year. This is less than the above-mentioned police or army. Please note that about 100,000 collective hunts are carried out each year – says Matysek.

He claims that “media hype” is raised after each accident, which is why – in his opinion – society has a distorted image of the threat associated with the activity of hunters.

Main photo source: TVN24

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