Under the Dome

NC senators want to add hunting, fishing rights to state constitution

Mitch Parker, of Emerald Isle, helps his grandson Darren Parker, 14, of Wilson, cast his line on the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C. on Monday, July 13, 2015.
Mitch Parker, of Emerald Isle, helps his grandson Darren Parker, 14, of Wilson, cast his line on the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C. on Monday, July 13, 2015. clowenst@newsobserver.com

A trio of Republican senators want voters to decide this fall if the right to hunt and fish should be enshrined in the state constitution.

The constitutional amendment would protect the “right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife ... subject to laws and regulations to promote wildlife conservation and management, to maintain natural resources in trust for public use, and to preserve the future of hunting and fishing.”

The amendment would not give anyone the right to hunt or fish on private property without permission.

The proposal was filed last week by Sen. Andrew Brock of Mocksville, Sen. Buck Newton of Wilson and Sen. Jim Davis of Franklin.

Brock says the amendment “makes perfect sense” because “we’ve come under attack recently by activist groups, anti-gun groups and anti-hunting and fishing groups.”

“It’s something that’s needed now and needed for future generations,” Brock said. “We want to make sure we pass on the traditions that we inherited that made the United States and North Carolina so great.”

He says a successful constitutional referendum – if legislators vote to add it to the November ballot – would be “a firm affirmation that the people support hunting and fishing in North Carolina.”

The proposal could be a helpful political talking point for Brock and Newton: Brock is currently running for Congress in the 13th District, and Newton is the Republican Party’s nominee for attorney general.

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