Teen's dying wish inspires bill for special hunting permit

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ATLANTA — Taylor Gramling was nearing the end of her battle with leukemia, but her zeal for life was undiminished when the teenager told her mother last fall she wanted to go deer hunting.

It was an unusual request, but one of her final wishes. The only problem: it was bow hunting season, and Taylor, who had been diagnosed in November 2009, was no longer strong enough to use a bow.

“She got to the point where she knew she didn’t have too much longer, so she just wanted to try different things,” said her mother, Andrea Moats. “I was scared for her to do it, but of course with her being sick, I had to let her do what she wanted to do.”

With the help of state and local officials, she was able to hunt with a firearm and kill a deer on her first time out.

“I was there when she pulled the trigger,” said Scott Kuhn, a family friend who took Taylor out to hunt. “It really made a difference in her life. It was like winning the lottery.

Taylor died six weeks later, on Nov. 30 – two years and two weeks after her diagnosis. She was 18.

On Tuesday, the Georgia Senate passed a bill named in her memory with her friends and family watching in the gallery. Sen. Rick Jeffares, R-Locust Grove, sponsored the bill after helping Taylor’s family secure her hunting permit.

Taylor’s Law was approved by a vote of 53-1, and the bill now heads to the House for its consideration.

The bill would authorize the state’s natural resources commissioner to issue special hunting permits for big game or alligators to anyone under 21 with a life expectancy of a year or less due to a terminal illness.

The legislation would waive legal weapons requirements, antler restrictions, quota limitations or hunter education requirements, and would allow the commissioner to impose any terms necessary to facilitate the permit. Anyone receiving the special permit would have to hunt under the supervision of an adult hunter.

The authorization would be good for one hunting season.

Taylor’s mother said after the vote that she hopes the legislation will make it easier for children with terminal illnesses to be able to hunt as her daughter wanted to.

“She was very excited,” Moats said. “She was very proud of it.”

HUNTING BILL APPROVED

The Georgia Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would end the ban on silencers for hunting firearms.

Sen. John Bulloch, the bill’s sponsor, says allowing hunters to use silencers would keep them from disturbing their neighbors, and that removing the ban would not create an unfair advantage for hunters.

Hunters would still need a federal permit to possess a silencer and be subject to a background check. The permits cost $200.

Bulloch says the legislation was brought to him by the National Rifle Association.

The bill, which passed 48-5, now heads to the House.

– Associated Press

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scoopdedoop64
2395
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scoopdedoop64 01/31/12 - 10:41 pm
0
0
What a great story! I am glad

What a great story! I am glad that she had her final wish come true. I also hope they will pass the bill named in her honor. It just is the right thing to do so that exemptions can be made for those in Taylor's condition.

freebird
0
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freebird 02/01/12 - 02:12 am
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yes, great story...she's

yes, great story...she's dying, so take something out with ya while your going....

RoadkiII
6630
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RoadkiII 02/01/12 - 04:39 am
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Some comments are just plain

Some comments are just plain uncalled for. Hunting is a legal activity regardless of your personal beliefs. Get over your self and let a terminally ill person enjoy what time they have left on this earth.

dougk
3
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dougk 02/01/12 - 08:07 am
0
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I had to check to make sure
Unpublished

I had to check to make sure it was not April 1. I was sure this news article had to be a joke.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 02/02/12 - 02:46 pm
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0
I totally support the bill

I totally support the bill and the legal harvest of animals.

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