Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Amendment Heads to Ky. Ballot ; Proposal Will Prevent Hunting, Fishing Bans

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Amendment Heads to Ky. Ballot ; Proposal Will Prevent Hunting, Fishing Bans

Article excerpt

When Kentucky voters go to the polls Nov. 6, they will decide whether to amend the state's constitution to grant the status of a "personal right" to hunting and fishing. Some states have already passed similar measures, and such questions will be on the ballots of other states this fall. Proponents say they are needed to prevent any future efforts to ban hunting and fishing.

If passed, any future attempt to prohibit hunting, fishing or trapping could be done only by again amending the Constitution, which requires a vote by the people.

"That's a big step I think in the right direction to help not only this generation of sportsmen, but the next," said Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who was one of the bill's nearly 70 co- sponsors, according to the website Ballotpedia. "We have a wonderful heritage of sports in this state. Kentucky was and still is the happy hunting ground."

Don Dugi, a political scientist at Transylvania University in Lexington, indicated he thinks the amendment is a solution in search of a problem, according to same website.

"There is no threat that this amendment would remedy," he said. "This is occurring in a number of states, and it's sponsored by groups like the NRA (National Rifle Association) to solidify their political position. It could be that, by making this a guarantee, they're hoping to get some tenuous protection against gun control, if anyone were ever to attempt that here."

The NRA's website is 100-percent behind the measure, and urges members to support it: "This constitutional amendment will protect our hunting heritage from attacks initiated by well-funded anti- hunting activists who have assailed sportsmen throughout the country in recent years. In addition, it specifies that wildlife management decisions will be based on sound science, not the emotions of animal rights extremists. …

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