North Carolina may be one step closer to having a constitutional amendment to protect the right to hunt and fish.
In an official statement by NC House Speaker Tim Moore, SB 677 originally passed in the House Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations by a unanimous voice vote. It says that “public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife..Nothing herein shall be construed to modify any provision of law relating to trespass, property rights, or eminent domain.”
Senate Bill 677 Protect Right to Hunt and Fish, which was passed by a bipartisan vote of 92-23 on Monday in the state’s house chamber, would ensure fishing and hunting would be protected rights in the Land of the Pines. This bill was approved as part of the referendum process, to which voters will decide the fate of this legislation. Democrats cited concerns with language pertaining to “traditional methods” of hunting, fishing and harvesting wildlife. Per WRAL, North Carolina’s Wildlife Resources Commission “supports the bill and has said it will continue to allow the General Assembly to pass laws and empower the executive branch to set hunting and fishing rules.”
If it succeeds on the ballot this fall, North Carolina could become the 22nd state with a constitutional amendment to protect the right to fish and hunt. 20 of the 21 states had their voters approve these amendments. Vermont’s is the oldest, dating back to 1777. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) describes why states pursue these amendments: