An N.C. House committee voted down a proposal to repeal current laws for hunting on Sunday and instead empower the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission to set regulations for Sunday hunting.
House Bill 614, titled “Scientific Wildlife Management,” would have eliminated current regulations for Sunday hunting, which prevent hunting with guns near churches and homes or during church hours.
Instead, the Wildlife Resources Commission would create regulations. “The Wildlife Resources Commission with all their biologists, conservationists and scientists – not the politicians down here in Raleigh – should be in charge of making sure everything moves smoothly,” said Rep. Chris Malone, a Wake Forest Republican and the bill’s sponsor. “They’re already regulating six days a week, let them do the seventh as well.”
But fellow Republican legislators said they don’t trust the appointed commission to set regulations.
“To take current law and do away with it in this manner is rather deceptive,” said Rep. George Cleveland, a Jacksonville Republican. “I think there are other motivations here.”
Malone shot back: “What other motivations?”
“I don’t know,” Cleveland said.
After being voted down by the House Wildlife Resources Committee, the bill is now dead for the rest of this year’s session.
The committee had been scheduled to hear another bill that would have loosened restrictions on Sunday hunting, but that bill’s sponsor postponed the hearing.
The legislature voted in 2015 to end the state’s longtime ban on Sunday hunting, but the state still bans hunting with guns between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.