Yesterday, Senate Bill 677 was passed in the North Carolina state House of Representatives by a vote of 92-23 with an amendment offered by Representative David Lewis (R-53) to improve the language. The Senate concurred with the change by a vote of 41-6, clearing the way for the amendment to be placed on the November ballot. SB 677 seeks to amend the North Carolina Constitution to affirm that it is a right of the public to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife as such:
The right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife is a valued part of the State's heritage and shall be forever preserved for the public good. The people have a right, including the right to use traditional methods, to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, subject only to laws enacted by the General Assembly and rules adopted pursuant to authority granted by the General Assembly to (i) promote wildlife conservation and management and (ii) preserve the future of hunting and fishing. 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.
Hunting, fishing, and harvesting wildlife are not only cherished American traditions, but when paired with science, are an integral part of wildlife management and conservation. Unfortunately, misguided extremists have been trying for decades to incrementally or outright ban hunting, fishing, and harvesting wildlife. This amendment guarantees the sporting traditions that you have enjoyed will still be around for future generations of Americans and that regulations will always be based on sound science. Currently, 21 other states have similar provisions in their states’ constitutions.
In addition to fees collected from sales of licenses and tags, excise taxes paid by North Carolina sportsmen and women on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment fund important conservation efforts such as the acquisition and improvement of wildlife habitat, wildlife species introduction, wildlife research, public access programs, and hunter education programs. This year alone, North Carolina has received $16,537,915 of Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Funds.
Your NRA would like to thank Senators Danny E. Britt (R-13), Tom McInnis (R-25), and Norman Sanderson (R-2) for introducing this bill as Primary Sponsors and Representative Lewis for his amendment. Please start spreading the word to fellow supporters of our sporting heritage that this important amendment will be on the November ballot.