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Voters Overwhelmingly Support Sportsmens` Rights

Friday, November 5, 2004

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 NRA-ILA`s Cox. "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."

The two anti-bear hunting referendums in Maine and Alaska repudiated the efforts of anti-hunting extremists. NRA-ILA actively opposed both measures, encouraging members, gun owners, and hunters in both states to defeat these measures that would have banned hunting for thousands of sportsmen and women. In Maine, Question 2 was defeated by a 53-47% margin. 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%! 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.

A special thanks goes out to Louisiana voters who helped pass Proposition 1. Please also thank bill sponsor Senator Joe McPherson (D-Woodworth) and the Louisiana Wildlife Federation.

"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."

In Montana, voters passed Constitutional Amendment 41 that adds a provision to the Montana Constitution to recognize and preserve the heritage of Montana residents to harvest wild fish and game. The Amendment was passed by a 79 to 21% margin. Thank you to all voters who enshrined Montana`s most precious heritage.

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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.