FAIRFAX, VA -- In a nationwide trend to uphold the heritage of America`s outdoorsmen and women, the Louisiana Legislature overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment recognizing every citizen`s fundamental right to hunt, fish and trap. The National Rifle Association (NRA), as well as numerous other sportsmen and conservation groups, solidly supported "The Freedom to Hunt, Fish and Trap" (SB 2) amendment. It will now be placed before state voters on the November 2nd ballot.
"‘The Sportsman`s Paradise` has long recognized hunting, fishing and trapping as a vital component of Louisiana`s heritage and economy," said Chris W. Cox, NRA`s chief lobbyist. "This is a sound victory for outdoorsmen.
"To ensure the success of this important amendment, I am counting on every Louisiana NRA member and gun owner to fight for their hunting, fishing and trapping rights at the polls November 2nd."
The constitutional amendment acknowledges, "The freedom to hunt, fish, and trap wildlife, including all aquatic life, traditionally taken by hunters, trappers and anglers, is a valued natural heritage that shall be forever preserved for the people."
"On behalf of the numerous Louisiana gun owners and hunters, I want to thank the Legislature, Senator Joe McPherson (D-Woodworth), Representative Jack Smith (D-Franklin) and the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) for their work to secure the liberties of Louisiana sportsmen," added Cox.
Seven states, the most recent being Wisconsin in April of 2003, have included language in their constitutions to preserve the freedom to hunt, fish and trap. Similar proposals are pending in eight additional states.
The National Rifle Association is the nation`s leader in protecting the right to hunt for all law-abiding Americans. Along with approximately 17 million American hunters and many national conservation organizations, NRA is working to preserve the American hunting tradition for future generations. Hunters and sportsmen play a pivotal role in America`s economy and society, and have been leaders in promoting wildlife management and conservation. Since 1939, hunters and shooters have paid over $4 billion in excise taxes on sporting equipment. Hunters and fishermen fund nearly 75% of the annual income for all 50 state conservation agencies. And, hunters contribute $21 billion to the American economy each year.