Quote Originally Posted by goshawkr View Post
I agree that those are concerns. Where they fall in the overall prioritization is up for debate. And I can think of some more pressing issues than the ones we are currently discussing, but I am pleased to hear they are being addressed. I will be even more pleased if they are successfully litigated, which is an entirely different matter than drumming up some papers and filing them in federal court.

However, it really is a pretty big deal that the US FWS and your state wildlife department are telling you to surrender your 4th amendment rights to parade around with a glorified chicken on your arm. Especially since congress explicitly told the US FWS they were not allowed to do so in the language of the MBTA.

Now to be perfectly fair on this issue many states are clear in that an inspection is not the same as a search, and must be done at the convenience and pleasure of the permittee. My state is one them that has been very extreme about this. However, this is not always well respected by the agents performing those searches. And there have been threats that if you do not submit to them you can expect your next permit renewal to be denied. During that time period I previously mentioned when there was a rash of inspections, there was a case where a falconer in California asked the agent if they had a warrant when he grew tired of the inspection that was going on. The agent said no, and the falconer told the agent to hit the streets and the agent left without any argument.
Geoff,
I know you are savvy enough to realize this is more about abuse of power than falconry regs. Falconers are not the only ones victimized by that sort of crap. Just go make a fuss at an airline gate because of some legitimate gripe and see how quickly they decide you are a security threat. As long as those around us are happy letting government grow in hopes of protecting them from every threat both real and perceived it will continue. They didn't pay attention to the part about a government large enough to protect you from everything also being able to relieve you of your rights.