The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

March 4, 2011

Kentucky voters could make hunting constitutional right

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Lawmakers in Kentucky moved Friday to give hunting and fishing rights protection under the state constitution, hoping to head off a feared push by animal rights groups to ban the outdoor pastimes.

Legislation calling for an amendment to the state Constitution sailed through the General Assembly in the largely rural state where hunting and fishing remain popular.

State Rep. Tommy Turner, R-Somerset, said he expects Kentucky voters to overwhelmingly ratify the proposal when it goes on the ballot in November 2012.

“I think it’s something we need to do,” said Turner, co-chairman of the House Sportsmen’s Caucus. “You just don’t know what might happen in the future, because there’s no question there are groups out there who would love to take away our right to hunt.”

The House voted 94-1 for final passage of the measure on Friday. Only Louisville Rep. Jim Wayne, a Democrat, dared vote against the politically popular measure on Friday. Wayne, who serves an urban constituency, said he doesn’t believe hunting and fishing need constitutional protection.

Kentucky is the latest in a long line of states that have passed or are considering right-to-hunt measures to head off feared hunting bans. Those with bans in place include Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The National Rifle Association is leading a nationwide push for such state-level constitutional amendments in a pre-emptive move just in case animal rights groups in the future are able to convince a majority of Americans that hunting is bad.

Animals rights groups have pressed for restrictions on hunting in several states, including Kentucky where they tried to stop bear season from opening two years ago and in Minnesota last year where they pushed to ban dove hunting. The right-to-hunt measures would ensure that hunting could never be outlawed without a statewide vote of the people.

The Missouri legislature is considering similar legislation this year.

“Hunting and fishing are cherished parts of America’s rich heritage and these constitutional amendments provide solid protections for our children and grandchildren as we move toward a more urban environment with diminishing understanding of our great outdoors,” said NRA spokesman Lacey Biles.

Biles said an amendment would protect Kentucky “from anti-hunting extremists for generations to come.”

Turner said he expects the issue will result in huge numbers of rural hunters and fishermen voting in next year’s general election. But he said he doesn’t expect it will benefit one party over another.

“This will benefit both Democrats and Republicans, as long as they’re pro-hunting,” he said.

Biles said the NRA is glad the measure has bipartisan support.

“If we lose hunting and fishing in the future, then we lose our appreciation for the outdoors and destroy the great conservation movement that sportsmen and women have driven for more than a century,” he said.

———

The legislation is House Bill 1.

 

1
Text Only
National and world
  • LibyaEvac.jpg US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

    The United States shut down its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine Plane web.jpg U.S.: Russia is firing artillery across border into Ukraine

    If true, the allegations mean Moscow is playing a more direct role in the fighting than it has been accused of up to now — a dangerous turn in what is already the gravest crisis between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Resilient Stocks web.jpg Global tensions don’t dent U.S. enthusiasm for stocks

    As they have all year, investors responded by using it as an opportunity to buy stocks. In fact, they’ve “bought on the dip” consistently for three years, keeping the market’s slips from becoming slides. Stock pullbacks since 2011 have been rare and relatively small, and none have become severe enough to qualify as a correction, Wall Street parlance for a fall of 10 percent or more from a peak.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obama leaders web.jpg Migrants: President Obama urges Latino leaders, Republicans to help

    White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said that House Speaker John Boehner’s effort to sue Obama over his use of executive authority “has opened the door for Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some point in the future.”

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast web.jpg Gaza sides agree to lull but truce efforts stall

    The latest diplomatic setbacks, after several days of high-level diplomacy in the region, signaled that both sides are digging in and that the fighting in Gaza is likely to drag on.
    Israel wants more time to destroy Hamas military tunnels and rocket launching sites in Gaza, while the territory’s Hamas rulers want international guarantees that a Gaza border blockade will be lifted before they cease fire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Hospital Shoo_Hass.jpg Official: Hospital gunman intended to kill others

    A psychiatric patient ranted about a hospital gun ban before opening fire at the suburban medical complex, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 25, 2014

  • g000258000000000000245c0063741aaafcc815c5b3199362fb09f8a7c3.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    
Gibson called Diamond City Hall for help but the police chief was out on another call. The city clerk came to join in the surveillance ...

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Severe Weather web.jpg Tornado slams Virginia campground; 2 dead

    A couple from New Jersey was killed when a tree fell on their tent. Their 13-year-old son, in a tent next to them, had life-threatening injuries.
    He was among three dozen people hurt.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Aviations Bad Week web.jpg Bad week for aviation: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    Industry analysts and safety experts shake their heads at the seeming randomness of the tragedies, saying they can find no common themes. Nor do they think the events indicate that flying is suddenly becoming less safe.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads