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Local lawmaker wants executive order to protect hikers from bears

A local lawmaker is calling on the Governor to sign an executive order allowing people to better protect themselves from bears.  New Milford Senator Craig Miner wants people in state parks and designated bow hunting areas to be able to carry legally registered handguns in case they are attacked by a bear.  This follows an attack by a bear on a 10-year old boy in his grandparent's Morris backyard.  Miner, whose district includes Morris, says this is the time of years when bears are active and looking for food before they hibernate for the winter.  A spokesman for the Governor told WTNH this isn't something that can be done by executive order and would require an act of the legislature.  Miner is not seeking reelection next month, and the General Assembly doesn't reconvene until February. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in the past has supported proposed legislation that would allow the killing of bears that cause agricultural damage. Bills at the state level have proposed banning the intentional feeding of bears, but none have advanced to the governor’s desk.