Virginia: Stationary Blind Legislation Defeated

By John Culclasure, Central Appalachian States Manager

Two bills, SB 1725 and HB 2658 that would have severely restricted hunter access to public waters in Virginia have been defeated.

Both bills would have prohibited stationary blinds within 150 yards of a riparian owner’s shoreline at the mean lower water mark unless written permission is obtained from the riparian owner to construct it closer to shore. Many waterfowlers strongly opposed these bills because the effect of the legislation would have been to close hunting on miles of public waterways.

Concerned hunters and representatives from sportsmen’s groups, including the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, testified before the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Subcommittee #1 twice to oppose the legislation.

On January 28, the Subcommittee voted 8-0 to recommend laying HB 2658 on the table, and the bill died after it failed to move out of the House of Delegates before crossover. SB 1725 passed the Senate on January 31, but the bill was passed by indefinitely with an 8-0 vote in the same Subcommittee on February 11.

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