Yesterday in the General Assembly Building, the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee considered four similar Sunday hunting bills. The committee rolled these four bills into Senate Bill 464 and then passed it by a vote of 11 to 4. This legislation will now be sent to the full state Senate for its consideration.
Senate Bill 464, sponsored by state Senator Ralph Northram (D-6), was amended by the sponsor to repeal the ban on Sunday hunting on private property and public waters and prohibit the hunting of deer with dogs on Sundays
Currently, Virginia is one of only six states in the country that strictly bans hunting on Sundays. This prohibition harms Virginia’s economy and threatens the very future of our hunting heritage by discouraging hunter recruitment and retention. It is time that the decision on this hunting policy, like virtually all others, be delegated to the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries.
At a time when the economy is struggling and too many Virginians are out of work, legislators must not continue to refuse the enormous economic benefits associated with allowing hunting on Sundays. Comprehensive research from the National Shooting Sports Foundation shows that allowing hunting on Sundays would generate a total annual economic impact estimated at $296 million and create 3,927 jobs. All of this would be spurred by simply eliminating words from state statute books (the current prohibition), not spending taxpayer dollars on some pie-in-the-sky scheme.
At this time a Senate floor vote has yet to be scheduled but is expected early next week for Senate Bill 464, but please continue to check your e-mail and www.NRAILA.org for future updates.