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Voters Overwhelmingly Support Sportsmen`s Rights

Thursday, November 4, 2004

FAIRFAX, VA -- In major victories for America’s sporting heritage, voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment recognizing every citizen’s fundamental right to hunt, fish and trap, and rejected ballot issues banning bear hunting methods.

"This is a sound victory for outdoorsmen," said Chris W. Cox, the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) chief lobbyist. "Most Americans understand that hunters, anglers and trappers have long led the nation in establishing effective conservation and wildlife management practices.

"Anti-hunting groups claim to protect animals, but their policies are ill-conceived, poorly researched and potentially disastrous to wildlife," added Cox. "On Election Day, voters sent a clear message -- that hunting practices should be managed by wildlife management professionals, not anti-hunting groups."

Voters defeated two anti-bear hunting referendums in Maine and Alaska on Tuesday, repudiating the efforts of anti-hunting extremists. NRA encouraged members and gun owners in both states to oppose these measures that would have banned hunting for thousands of sportsmen and women. In Maine, Question 2 was opposed 53-47%. In Alaska, Ballot Measure 3 was soundly defeated across the state.

Proposition 1, Louisiana`s Right to Hunt, Fish & Trap constitutional amendment, passed by an overwhelming 81-19% with 100% of precincts reporting. 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.

"This amendment protects Louisiana’s strong hunting, fishing and trapping heritage," Cox stated. "Nearly twenty-five percent of Louisiana residents hunt or fish. Hunters and sportsmen play a pivotal role in the state’s economy and society, and have been leaders in promoting wildlife management and conservation."


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.

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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.