Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Constitutional Right to Hunt

I can buy a lifetime hunting license in Virginia. This is available at a pro-rated basis, depending on age. This seems to me to be an excellent idea and some other states have availed themselves of this lifetime licenses option as well, including: AL, CA, FL, IA, IL, KS, LA, ME, MI, MN, MO (small game only), NE, NY, OK, SC (small game only), TX, and WV.

On another note, Virginians have a state-defined constitutional right to hunt and fish (enacted in 2000). Some other states that have embraced similar constitutional rights include:
  • Vermont - enacted in 1777

  • Alabama - enacted in 1996

  • Minnesota - enacted in 1998

  • North Dakota - enacted in 2000

  • Wisconsin - enacted in 2003

  • Louisiana - enacted in 2004

  • Montana - enacted in 2004

  • Georgia - enacted in 2006
Am I missing any?

1 comment:

Mark Churchill said...

A right-to-hunt amendment has been proposed in Nebraska several times, but always faltered due to the stated opposition of the unicameral legislature's senior member. He is opposed to hunting and also opposed, supposedly on principle, to "cluttering up the Constitution" with amendments. He has argued that anti-hunting legislation has no chance of passing, as he is almost the only legislator who would support it, and that therefore no amendment is necessary. I see the logic but disagree with his conclusion. In any case, he (along with a number of other legislators) has been forced out by a term-limits measure, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Nebraska join the list within the next couple of years.

I think Maryland's constitution already protects hunting and fishing, but I can't cite a date.