Today, in great news for North Carolina sportsmen as well as the future of hunting in the Tar Heel State, House Bill 640, sponsored by Representative Jimmy Dixon (R-4), passed favorably out of the House Wildlife Resources Committee. Your NRA supports this ten-part bill titled the Outdoor Heritage Act, which is aimed at preserving North Carolina’s outdoor heritage for future generations. HB 640 could be heard on the House floor as early as tomorrow and your urgent action is needed!
One major component of the Outdoor Heritage Act repeals the ban on Sunday hunting on private lands while still prohibiting hunting within 300 yards of a place of worship, hunting migratory waterfowl and hunting deer with dogs on Sunday.
Each hunting season, sportsmen across America enjoy hunting seven days per week. However, North Carolina is one of only 11 states where hunting on Sunday is restricted or prohibited due to antiquated “blue laws” that have been on the books since the 19th century. While hunting is restricted in North Carolina, other activities such as fishing, hiking and target shooting remain perfectly legal on the seventh day of the week. Furthermore, the states allowing hunting on Sundays have healthy game populations and do not have higher rates of hunter accidents or landowner-hunter conflicts.
Between work, school and other obligations, Sunday hunting bans work to discourage hunting at a time when hunter recruitment and participation must be encouraged in order to save our hunting heritage.
Other key provisions of the Outdoor Heritage Act include:
- Creation of the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Trust Fund for Youth Outdoor Heritage Promotion, which would receive funds through a voluntary donation option placed on hunting and fishing licenses and other outdoor access fee items.
- Establishment of an Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council, which would establish and implement the Trust Fund and advise the General Assembly and State agencies on the promotion of outdoor recreational activities including but not limited to, sport shooting, archery, hunting, trapping, boating and fishing.
- Enhancement of landowner liability protections by giving an exemption from civil liability to landowners giving permission to hunters to retrieve hunting dogs on their property.
In the Senate, Senator Buck Newton (R-11) introduced Senate Bill 658 to expand North Carolina’s Sunday hunting opportunities. SB 658 would allow sportsmen to hunt on public and private land seven days a week while still prohibiting the hunting of waterfowl, hunting with dogs and hunting within 250 yards of a place of worship prior to 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Your NRA-ILA strongly supports expanding hunting opportunities on Sundays. To find out more about why Sunday hunting should be allowed, read NRA-ILA’s fact sheet on the issue at www.nraila.org/sundayhunting.
It is critical that you contact your state Representative in SUPPORT of HB 640 and contact your state Senator in SUPPORT of SB 658. Encourage them to vote to support repealing the ban on Sunday Hunting in the Tar Heel State.