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"Overcriminalization" describes the trends in America - and particulary in Congress - to use the criminal law to "solve" every problem, punish every mistake (instead of making proper use of civil penalties), and coerce Americans into conforming their behavior to satisfy social engineering objectives.

HR 4122: Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act

Official Title

A bill to amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to clarify provisions enacted by the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, to further the conservation of certain wildlife species, and for other purposes.


This bill targets breeders of “big cats,” such as lions and tigers, by prohibiting private possession of these animals. The amendments would make it a crime to possess prohibited wildlife unless the possessor is an accredited institution. This bill would punish those who “knowingly” violate the statute, as well as those who “in the exercise of due care should know” that they are violating this section of the U.S. Code. A violation would be punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and up to a $20,000 fine,

Legislation Details

McKeon (R - CA)


3/9/2012: Referred to the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs.
03/01/2012: Referred to House Natural Resources Committee
03/01/2012: Introduced in House