Ballot Initiative of the Day: Will Kentucky Make Hunting a Constitutional Right?

  • Share
  • Read Later
California banned hunting bears and bobcats with dogs in September, but Kentucky is taking no risks with its own hunting laws. A constitutional amendment on the state’s ballot Tuesday proposes to make hunting a personal right and the preferred way to control animal populations. The amendment would add this language to Kentucky’s constitution:
The citizens of Kentucky have the personal right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, using traditional methods, subject only to statutes enacted by the Legislature, and to administrative regulations adopted by the designated state agency to promote wildlife conservation and management and to preserve the future of hunting and fishing. Public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.

Democratic Representative Leslie Combs, one of the bill’s sponsors in the Kentucky Legislature, argues that the law reaffirms gun and private-property rights and that it has strong economic benefits. “Altogether, [hunting and fishing] bring in about $3 billion a year and they support 34,000 jobs,” she explained in an op-ed. “According to the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, they contribute more than $200 million to state and local governments annually.” The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources fully supports passage of the amendment, as does–unsurprisingly–the League of Kentucky Sportsmen and the National Rifle Association.

Opponents say the measure protects special interests and distracts from bigger issues. “Why not a right to shop or a right to golf?” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals spokeswoman Ashley Byrne told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “Amendments like this threaten to open the door to a flood of other amendments whose sole purpose is to make political statements for political interest groups. It’s a solution in search of a problem.”

Nebraska, Wyoming and Idaho have similar measures on Tuesday’s ballot. The wording differs slightly between states: Nebraska, like Kentucky seeks to enshrine the right “to hunt, to fish and to harvest wildlife” while Idaho and Wyoming call it the right “to hunt, fish and trap.” Seven other states–Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi,  New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Pennsylvania–tried to get constitutional hunting protections on the ballot in 2012 but failed. Since 1996, A total of twelve states have passed similar amendments on the right to hunt and fish since 1996. Before then, only Vermont had a constitutionally protected right to hunt and fish, dating back to 1777.

9 comments
JjMontague
JjMontague

When times are tough and you can't afford to buy food at the grocery store, you go hunting.  You gather dandelion greens, wild berries &  you hunt game.  This is not about politics or special interests, though city-bred liberals would have you think so.  This is more about the right to be self-sufficient and independent, about the right to live your life without become beholden or indebted to anyone except by choice.

csmflynt
csmflynt

This makes a lot of sense and states are doing this because sadly if its not in the constitution a lot of liberals , environmentalist , and anti gun organizations will place more and more restrictions on what is an already over regulated activity. I see no reason anyone would oppose this unless they are part of the groups i just mentioned....

MrObvious
MrObvious

So something recreational should be a constitutional right?

WTF

Can I get bowling included?

JjMontague
JjMontague

@MrObvious  who says hunting is recreational?  For some people, maybe.  For others it's a means of putting food on the table.

AfGuy
AfGuy

We already have a "method" (NOT necessarily preferred) of controlling the deer population... it's called the automobile bumper.

Unfortunately, that method turns out to be rather expensive for the "hunter".  My son involuntarily "bagged" himself a juvenile deer.  2500 dollars later, the Pathfinder he was driving was finally able to take the road again.

Guess this law COULD be used to control the "population" of "neighbors' dogs"...

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

@AfGuy I remember quite awhile back when sacredh had bad luck with deer. Hope he hasn't hit any since.  Maybe Wile E. Coyote should move to KY so he can hunt the Road Runner with no limits.

AfGuy
AfGuy like.author.displayName 1 Like

I'm hoping they'll pass a law giving me the Consitutional right to find someone to sell my house too when I decide to sell and move out in about three years.

A sh*tty housing market is more of worry to me when I decide to leave than a guarantee to be able to shoot Bamby as many times as I want to in the fuure.

csmflynt
csmflynt

@AfGuy you don't need a law for that you just need people to stop voting these radical leftist into office like Barrack Hussein Obama ... destroying the economy is his legacy 

AfGuy
AfGuy like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Oh, yeah... red-necks with high-powered rifles, woods, cold weather.... and... don't forget... alcohol.

What could possibly go wrong?