Republican lawmakers push to safeguard hunting, fishing rights in North Carolina constitution

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Republican lawmakers push new amendment to protect hunting and fishing rights in North Carolina. (WTVD)

New legislation has been filed to try to add an amendment onto the ballot that would safeguard hunting and fishing.

Bill sponsors said they want to let voters decide whether to change the North Carolina constitution to protect the right to hunt and fish.

They are hoping to have the ballot in place for the November 2018 election.

Republican Senators Danny Britt, Andrew Brock, and Norman Sanderson held a news conference Tuesday morning to announce the bill they're sponsoring, Senate Bill 677.

A representative from the NRA was there to show support.

Lawmakers said they want to break down the barriers on hunting, citing restrictions on where and when people can hunt. But the legislation doesn't address those issues specifically.

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"Before we start limiting what this resource means to the people of the state of North Carolina, I think this is the standard," Sanderson said. "This is what we need to have in place so that those other laws can come under this, that this is a basic right of the people, the citizens of the state of North Carolina."

Richard Hamilton, with the Wildlife Federation, said he supports hunting and fishing but doesn't feel the bill is necessary.

He also said there's one part of the bill he's concerned about.

"We do have some concern about the traditional uses," Hamilton said. "This would put in the constitution that a person can use traditional means to take wildlife and that the traditional means go, all the way back to setting traps in the river and all kinds of things that have been outlawed."

Bill sponsors feel that they have enough support to get the legislation on the ballot.

View the bill here.
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