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Sunday Hunting Bill to be Heard Tomorrow in Maryland!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Please Contact the Members of the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee Today!

On Tuesday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m., the Maryland Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee will hear Senate Bill 978, a bill to expand Sunday hunting in Maryland.  SB978 would authorize a person in Talbot County to hunt deer on private property with a bow and arrow on the last three Sundays in October and the second Sunday in November.

Regulated hunting is responsible for bringing deer numbers up from dangerous levels half a century ago, but the archaic prohibition of hunting on Sunday is complicating efforts by state wildlife experts to control a burgeoning deer population.  Hunters pump millions of dollars into habitat restoration and conservation and they are primarily responsible for healthy ecosystems throughout Maryland.  The prohibition on Sunday hunting is an old blue law left on the books in just a handful of states.  This inhibits biologists, wildlife managers, and sportsmen from making conservation decisions based on science.  Hunting on Sunday is another tool and opportunity to encourage forest health and lower the odds of wildlife-vehicle accidents in Maryland as overpopulation of deer expands across the state. 

Many hunters cannot introduce their children or friends to hunting because Saturday is their only opportunity, and they are competing with the numerous organized sports and activities.  Many hunters - be it young or old, novice or experienced - stop hunting because of the lack of opportunity, both in time and accessible land.  The addition of an extra day in the field increases a person’s available time to enjoy our hunting heritage.  This will invigorate essential hunter recruitment and retention efforts.

Sunday hunting will also bring a much-needed economic boost to rural areas.  Every day that hunters are in the field, they spend money on gas, food, lodging and the dozens of other incidentals that go along with a day’s hunt. The ripple effect of this spending can have a major impact on a rural town or county. This legislation will clearly help advance and preserve Maryland’s rich hunting traditions, while enhancing biodiversity and wildlife populations.

Please contact the members of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee TODAY and respectfully urge them to vote for SB978.  Contact information can be found below.

State Senator Joan Carter Conway (D-43), Chair
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3145 (toll free)

State Senator Roy P. Dyson (D-29), Vice-Chair
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3673 (toll free)

State Senator Andrew P. Harris (R-7),
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3706 (toll free)

State Senator Michael G. Lenett (D-19),
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3151 (toll free)

State Senator Paul G. Pinsky (D-22),
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3155 (toll free)

State Senator James C. Rosapepe (D-21),
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3141 (toll free)

State Senator Edward Reilly (R-33)
1-800- 492-7122, ext. 3568 (toll free)

State Senator Richard F. Colburn (R-37),
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3590 (toll free)

State Senator David Harrington (D-47)
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3745 (toll free)

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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.