Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Hunting

SHOTGUN SPORTS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO HUNT: VIRGINIA COURT TO DECIDE ZONING DISPUTE

Thursday, October 28, 2004

"The people have a right to hunt, fish, and harvest game," subject to regulation by the state legislature, according to the Virginia Constitution. Numerous states have such a guarantee, but few courts have decided the meaning of that right.

A lawsuit pending in Nelson County, located in rural Central Virginia, promises to be perhaps the first in the nation to do so. Orion Sporting Group LLC applied for a conditional use permit to re-open an on-going shotgun sports business on a new 450-acre rural tract of property where Orion has a licensed hunting preserve. It would have been a place for sportsmen and women safely to shoot shotguns at clay pigeons and ZZ-Birds that simulate the flight paths of upland game birds and other fowl as well as small game animals. Even though the facility would have complied with the existing noise ordinance, the County turned it down.

Orion filed suit, claiming that the denial violates the right to hunt. Hunting requires instruction in safety and proficiency. Sporting clays is the ideal learning tool for bird hunting. Such training minimizes chances of firearms accidents and, by teaching how to shoot clay and helice targets at different distances and angles, promotes the humane harvesting of game birds. It`s the very kind of hunter education and training that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries promotes. The County`s refusal, the lawsuit also maintains, seeks to do an end run around Virginia state law, which restricts county authority to regulate hunting and firearm discharge to residential areas only. Lawyers representing Orion include Steven Raynor, John Simpson, and Stephen Halbrook.

The County sought dismissal of the suit, arguing that corporations have no right to hunt and that sporting clays isn`t hunting. Orion responded that many constitutional rights require the economic support that corporations offer. Newspaper publishers come to mind – the right to a free press couldn`t survive if only lone individuals could disseminate news and opinion. Moreover, simulated hunting makes one proficient at actual hunting. No one wants untrained "hunters" in the woods who can`t shoot straight.

In a decision on Oct. 4, 2004, Circuit Judge Michael Gamble held that Orion`s complaint sufficiently alleged violation of the constitutional right to hunt for the case to go to trial. The complaint was valid in that it asserted that the zoning ordinance "effectively has a county-wide ban on hunting because it prevents sporting clays shooting facilities and shooting ranges." The judge also held that it was proper for Orion to claim that, under the ordinance itself, hunting and sporting clays should be permitted. This decision clears the way for the case to go to trial.

Meanwhile, politicians in control of Nelson County have broadened their anti-hunter policies, ordering the closure of the Bucks Only Hunt Club shooting range which had existed for years. Then County Officials proposed amending the zoning ordinance to require Hunt Clubs to get special permits. In other words, you can exercise what the Virginia Constitution calls your "right to hunt" if some bureaucrat gives you permission. A sea of hunters – hundreds of them – in blaze orange caps opposed the proposal at a public hearing on Sept. 21, cheering Dawson Hobbs, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. Anti-hunters in the Nelson County Board of Supervisors need to be thrown out at coming elections. Meanwhile, the litigation continues.

For further information, contact Charles Jordan ([email protected]) or James Slaughter ([email protected]), Orion Estate, (434) 263-6622.

TRENDING NOW
NRA Wins Supreme Court Case, NYSRPA v. Bruen

News  

Second Amendment  

Thursday, June 23, 2022

NRA Wins Supreme Court Case, NYSRPA v. Bruen

The National Rifle Association (NRA) welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen. The Court affirmed that the right to bear arms does not stop at a person’s front door. This is the most ...

Treachery! White House Moves to Strangle U.S. Ammunition Supply

News  

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Treachery! White House Moves to Strangle U.S. Ammunition Supply

Last night, news broke that the Biden Administration is taking behind-the-scenes steps to further strangle the already constricted market for ammunition in the United States. The move could result in a reduction of the commercial production ...

Supreme Court Gets it Right, Congress Gets it Wrong

Friday, June 24, 2022

Supreme Court Gets it Right, Congress Gets it Wrong

On Thursday, SCOTUS released a historic decision in the NYSRPA v. Bruen case when they found the Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding Americans to carry a firearm outside of the home. Despite the hysteria from ...

Gun Control Package Passes U.S. Senate; House Vote Imminent

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Gun Control Package Passes U.S. Senate; House Vote Imminent

On Thursday, the U.S Senate passed a sweeping package of gun control measures. The text of the legislation was only unveiled Tuesday evening. And while much of the 80-page bill did indeed seek to address ...

Senate Gun Control Package Creates De Facto Waiting Periods

News  

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Senate Gun Control Package Creates De Facto Waiting Periods

Most law-abiding Americans over the age of 18 enjoy the right to purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL or gun dealer) following an instant background check through the FBI’s National Instant Background ...

Federal Judge Rules Against New Jersey and In Favor of Retired Officers In LEOSA Case.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Federal Judge Rules Against New Jersey and In Favor of Retired Officers In LEOSA Case.

Back in 2020, a coalition of retired federal law enforcement officers and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association sued the state of New Jersey for not honoring their carry rights under the Law Enforcement Officer ...

Delaware: Gun & Mag Bans Going to Gov. Carney

Friday, June 17, 2022

Delaware: Gun & Mag Bans Going to Gov. Carney

Last night, the House passed Senate Bill 6, to ban many standard capacity magazines in common use, sending it to Governor John Carney’s desk. The Senate passed House Bill 450, to ban many commonly-owned firearms, and ...

The So-called “Boyfriend Loophole” is About Undermining the Second Amendment

News  

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The So-called “Boyfriend Loophole” is About Undermining the Second Amendment

At present, federal law generally bars anyone who is convicted in any court for a domestic violence felony, or any felony for that matter, from possessing firearms. But federal law also imposes a lifetime firearm possession prohibition on ...

NRA Announces Opposition to Senate Gun Control Legislation

News  

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

NRA Announces Opposition to Senate Gun Control Legislation

This legislation can be abused to restrict lawful gun purchases, infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund gun control measures being adopted by state and local politicians.

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.