North Carolina hunters scored a victory today when the State Senate passed House Bill 640, the Outdoor Heritage Act, sponsored by Representative Jimmy Dixon (R-4), by a 33-15 vote. This vote follows the approval by the North Carolina House of Representatives by a 88-26 vote on June 18, 2015. If signed by Governor Pat McCrory (R), the opportunity to hunt with firearms on Sundays would be expanded on private property as of October 1, 2015. Thank you to all NRA members and hunting supporters who contacted their lawmakers in support of this important pro-hunting legislation.
The Outdoor Heritage Act removes the absolute prohibition on hunting on Sunday with a firearm on private land. While the NRA supports this positive step forward for hunters and private property owners in North Carolina, we will continue working to fully lift the restrictions on Sunday hunting remaining after this bill.
HB 640 contains the following pro-hunting provisions:
- Develops the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Trust Fund for youth outdoor heritage promotion (including, but not limited to, hiking, horseback riding, boating, sport shooting and archery, bird watching and wildlife watching, camping, swimming, hunting, trapping, and fishing) and establishes the Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council to administer the Outdoor Heritage Fund
- Requires the Legislative Research Commission to study the need for expanded access to public lands and the ways in which public land management plans affect opportunities to engage in outdoor recreational activities
- Implements a “three strikes” rule for trespassers who hunt on posted property and reviews suspension of hunting privileges for negligent hunters
- Expands the opportunity to hunt with firearms on Sundays on private land with written permission from the landowner and under certain restrictions
- Defines cub bears as bears weighing less than 75 pounds
- Extends the breeding season for foxes at Bladen Lakes State Forest Game Land
- Reduces liability for a landowner who gives permission to a hunter to enter upon the land for the purpose of retrieving hunting dogs