Why It Matters: Right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife constitutional amendments protect the outdoor traditions of thousands of sportsmen and women from efforts to limit or outright ban hunting and fishing practices. Anti-sportsmen organizations continually lead efforts to persuade the public to believe that hunting, fishing, and harvesting wildlife are a privilege, subject to emotionally driven public sentiments to alter policies and regulations, rather than science-based facts. Florida is taking a proactive measure to ensure that their time-honored sporting traditions are protected for generations to come.
- House Joint Resolution 1157, introduced by Representative Lauren Melo and cosponsored by Florida Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Representative Jason Shoaf, puts the right to hunt and fish, including the use of traditional methods, constitutional amendment on the ballot for Florida voters in 2024.
- HJR 1157 cruised through both the Agriculture, Conservation, and Resiliency Subcommittee and the Infrastructure Strategies Committee. CSF Support Letter – HJR 1157 (2) (1) of HJR 1157 to both the Subcommittee and the Committee.
- During a press conference on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Tallahassee on April 18, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Southeastern States Senior Coordinator, Mark Lance, spoke in support of HJR 1157 and its companion bill, SJR 1234, along with other in-state and national conservation partners.
- On April 25, HJR 1157 passed the Florida House of Representatives on a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 116-0. It then passed the Senate 39-1 on April 28, officially placing the right to hunt and fish constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2024.
While adding the right to hunt and fish to the Florida State Constitution is a rallying call for hunters and anglers to defend their time honored traditions, it is also important to note the over $70 million generated by sportsmen and women for conservation funding through the American System of Conservation Funding in 2021 alone. Passage of the right to hunt and fish constitutional amendment would ensure the continuation of conservation funding that benefits not only game species and the opportunities they provide for sportsmen and women, but also non-game species and the public at large.
Currently, 23 states, including every Southern State, have adopted right to hunt and fish constitutional amendments.
CSF applauds the leadership of Representative Melo and Senator Jason Brodeur, who sponsored SJR 1234, as well as the support of the Florida Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and numerous conservation partners in our concerted effort to give Floridians the opportunity to amend their State Constitution to further protect their cherished sporting traditions.