Three Republicans in the state Senate have filed a bill that calls for a constitutional amendment to protect hunting and fishing rights.
The amendment would add language to the state constitution that says the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife will be preserved for the public good.
It would go to a referendum on the ballot for next year's general election. Supporters have described it as a preemptive measure to stop any efforts to ban hunting and fishing. It would also protect game from urbanization, according to State Senator Danny Britt.
“There's been a big push for quality deer management and other programs to try to make sure there is good game and make sure that our natural resources are preserved, and the majority of those efforts are made by people who have the desire to hunt and fish,” he said.
The amendment's language comes from a template suggested by the National Rifle Association.
“Sportsmen have been under attack for many years by well-funded national anti-hunting groups who demonstrate a clear disregard for both the cherished traditions of many Americans as well as responsible wildlife management in their drive to eliminate hunting and fishing,” said NRA spokesman Anthony Roulette.
Twenty-one other states have similar constitutional amendments.