June 2, 2016

North Carolina:  Constitutional Right to Hunt and Fish Legislation Introduced

On May 25, North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus member Senator Andrew Brock introduced legislation to amend the North Carolina state constitution to protect the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife in the Old North State.

If Senate Bill 889 passes, North Carolina voters would be presented with the option to vote in favor or against the constitutional amendment on November 8 at the General Election.

Senator Buck Newton, Co-Chair of the North Carolina Sportsmen’s Caucus, is an original sponsor of the bill and believes strongly in the need to protect hunting traditions through a constitutional amendment. Senator Newton explained, “A constitutional amendment protecting North Carolinians’ right to hunt and fish is vital to conserving our sporting traditions.  With North Carolina continuing to be one of the fastest growing states in the country, we want to ensure that future North Carolinians are constitutionally guaranteed these pastimes that are a significant part of North Carolina’s outdoor heritage.” 

“This constitutional amendment makes sense and is something that’s needed now and for future generations,” said Senator Brock. “We want to make sure we pass on the traditions that we inherited that made the United States and North Carolina so great.”

S. 889 currently has seven cosponsors. The bill was sent to the Committee on Rules and Operations of Senate on May 26. If enacted, the constitution would be amended by adding, “the right of the people to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife, including the use of traditional methods, shall not be infringed.” Additionally, “public hunting and fishing” would be codified as the “preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.” 

Currently, 19 states have constitutional protections guaranteeing the right to hunt and fish and harvest wildlife.  

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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