The Nov. 8 election will be pivotal this year, as U.S. residents vote on major candidates as well as major issues.
Indiana state residents will be voting on whether or not hunting and fishing should be protected by the state constitution. Basically, residents are deciding whether or not to make hunting and fishing a right, like free speech and religion.
The proposed amendment would prohibit local governments from passing laws restricting hunting or fishing in the future. It would also establish hunting as the state’s preferred method for wildlife conservation.
Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, is a supporter of the measure. Tomes also supported the effort in the Indiana General Assembly in 2014 and 2016.
According to Indiana state law, a proposed amendment has to first pass two General Assemblies. Now, the measure is going to the voters to be either approved or rejected.
Tomes says he’s in favor of the amendment for two reasons. First, “hunting and fishing are a part of the fabric of Indiana history.”
His second reason is to preserve the freedoms for future generations. At this time in Indiana, fewer residents are interested in hunting and fishing than before.
“It’s unfortunate we’re at a place where we have to do this,” Tomes says. “Young people seem to be more interested in playing video games than going outside.”
However, animal rights groups oppose the proposal, saying it is “poorly written, unnecessary and will severely limit the ability to adapt should increasing urbanization change the state’s needs down the road.”
If this amendment passes, Indiana would be the 20th state to pass a hunting and fishing protection measure. The last time the state amended its constitution was in 2010, so this amendment looks like a very real possibility.