North Carolina Voters Add Right to Hunt, Fish to State constitution

11/9/18 7:00 AM | by

North Carolina voters add right to hunt, fish to state constitution

north carolina right to hunt and fish

Over 2 million voters in North Carolina said that a right to hunt and fish was so important that it should be protected in the state constitution. (Photo: N.C. Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement)

Voters in the Tar Heel State this week overwhelmingly approved a move to add a right to hunt and fish to their state constitution.

The constitutional amendment was approved by more than 57 percent of voters on Tuesday, with more than 2 million in the state polling in favor of the proposal. The measure adds language protecting the right to hunt and fish to the North Carolina Constitution while establishing public harvest by sportsmen using “traditional methods” as the preferred method of wildlife management.

The referendum reached voters by means of the state legislature this session with the passage of S.677 by a huge margin– with more than 80 percent of lawmakers signing on to support the bill.

Similar measures have been advanced across the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, with no less than 21 states adding such language in their constitution, dating back to Vermont who included it in 1777. Most recently, Indiana and Kansas both added it through the voter-driven amendment process in 2016. All of the states that border North Carolina have adopted such initiatives.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the National Rifle Association, gun industry trade groups and Delta Waterfowl all testified to legislators in support of the North Carolina effort, arguing the traditional shooting sports are increasingly threatened.

“The National Shooting Sports Foundation is extremely pleased that the will of the citizens was heard and the right to hunt and fish is now constitutionally protected in North Carolina,” Larry Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel told this week. “NSSF was a leader in the coalition to bring this amendment to the voters and they have made it clear that the hunting heritage and conservation efforts of hunters will be protected from unwarranted intrusion by special interests.”

Calling hunters the “original conservationists” Keane said that sportsmen across the country have raised over $37 billion since 1937 through the sales of firearms and ammunition “to achieve the healthiest and balanced wildlife populations that are enjoyed by hunters and non-hunters alike.”

Statistics from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission show as many as 570,000 hunters buy licenses every year in the state, with more than 20,000 completing hunter safety courses annually since 2011. Last season over 128,000 deer were harvested with firearms in the state. With some $2.3 billion pumped into the state economy by sportsmen, North Carolina received over $16.5 million of that back from the federal government in Pittman-Robertson funds this year based on sales of guns, ammunition and fishing tackle.

Latest Reviews

  • Hidden Heat

    Hidden Heat Holster: A Lacy Addition to Women’s Concealment got our hands on an original Hidden Heat Lace Holster to see if its beauty could keep pace with...

    Read Now
  • Blue Alpha Gear Brings Performance to EDC with Hybrid Belt

    A relative newcomer to the world of gun belts, Blue Alpha Gear quickly proved why gun owners and range goers...

    Read Now
  • Hudson H9: Competition, self defense or collector's item? (VIDEO)

    I recently picked up a more recently produced model to see if the hype was real and to see if...

    Read Now
  • Savage 220 Turkey

    Resurrecting the Bolt Action Shotgun: Savage 220 Turkey (VIDEO)

    For a glorious week, I hunted Rio Grande turkeys in the warmth of Texas spring with a Savage 220 Turkey,...

    Read Now