Governor Phil Bryant became Mississippi’s 64th Governor in 2012 and was elected to his second term in November 2015, capturing almost 70 percent of the vote. He served as the Republican Chair of the bipartisan Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) in 2017 and as the Republican Vice-Chair of the GSC in 2014-2015. Early in his career, Governor Bryant served as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives for five years, before being appointed to serve as State Auditor. He also served one term as Mississippi’s Lieutenant Governor from 2008-2012. In 2012, Governor Bryant joined the Governor’s Sportsmen’s Caucus, which paralleled his commitment and dedication to promoting and protecting the rights of hunters and anglers in the Magnolia State.
Since taking office, Governor Bryant has consistently stood as a strong advocate for pro-sportsmen’s legislation. In 2014, he championed Mississippi Amendment 1, which added language to the Mississippi State Constitution that would protect citizens’ right to hunt, fish and trap. The amendment passed as a ballot measure in the 2014 general election, with nearly 90 percent voting in favor. This constitutional amendment ensures that the right to participate in these outdoor sporting traditions remains intact for generations to come.
As a strong supporter of jobs and economic development, Governor Bryant, in 2014, signed into law Senate Bill 2425, giving Mississippi sportsmen an annual tax free holiday. The Mississippi Second Amendment Weekend holiday offers sales tax exemptions on individual sales of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, and certain hunting supplies. The annual holiday starts on the first Friday of each September and lasts until midnight on the following Sunday.
Governor Bryant, his wife Deborah, and their two children are all avid outdoor enthusiasts. Their love for the abundant outdoor recreational opportunities offered in Mississippi has led Governor Bryant to become a reliable advocate of National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD). In recent years, the Governor has issued a statement of support for the initiative or signed a NHFD proclamation, commenting: “As a Second Amendment advocate, hunting and fishing have always been a part of my life, even as a young child growing up in the Mississippi Delta. Deborah and I enjoy spending time outdoors in Mississippi whenever possible. Whether it’s fishing on the Gulf Coast, hunting big deer in the Mississippi Delta or chasing turkeys in north Mississippi, I cherish my time with friends and family. I encourage everyone to take a child hunting or fishing this weekend.”
Mississippi is home to more than 780,000 hunters and anglers who serve as economic drivers and conservation leaders for the state. Annually, the Magnolia State’s sportsmen and women spend upwards of $2.2 billion and support more than 33,500 jobs.
Gov. Phil Byrant (MS) after a successful white-tailed deer hunt.
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- Lack of access to hunting areas (17.79%)
- Lack of a mentor or instructor to take them (25.77%)
- Age limit restrictions on when they can purchase a license (1.23%)
- Lack of time or competing interests (17.18%)
- Technology (social media, phones, computers) (16.56%)
- Perceived negative public or peer-group opinions (21.47%)