Residents of Mississippi may soon have the best excuse ever for going on a hunting or fishing trip – it’s their constitutional right.
The Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment, up for the vote on November 4, 2014, is expected to be approved, according to the Sun Herald.
Nevertheless, the NRA has thrown its full support behind the amendment, declaring it a priority in order to protect the right to hunt from political influence.
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“Years down the road, even a hunter-friendly state might turn the other way,” said NRA spokesman Lacey Biles in the Sun Herald piece. “That’s the whole point of a constitutional amendment, to protect the future, and a hunting heritage that is rich in Mississippi currently, we want that to be enshrined for generations to come.”
Certain animal rights activists have declared that hunting is on the decline, and that the amendment is an attempt to maintain its popularity. The National Council of State Legislatures has also suggested amendments such as the The Right to Hunt and Fish are a response from sportsmen who are losing access to available hunting and fishing areas.
However, officials at the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks said Mississippi has seen declines in hunting before, but they have successfully campaigned to bring more young people, women, and minorities into the sport.
“In Mississippi, our numbers are pretty strong,” said spokesman Jim Walker to the Sun Herald. “Our hunting classes are full. Our youth hunts are sold out.”
Walker and the NRA’s Biles also stressed the importance of hunting in Mississippi as the preferred means of wildlife management.
If passed, Mississippi will join 17 other states with pro-hunting amendments, including Vermont, which passed theirs in 1777.
Do you think that hunting and fishing should be a constitutional right? Let us know in the comments!