Thanks to the hard work of NRA members and pro-hunting legislators, Governor Pat McCrory (R) signed House Bill 640, the Outdoor Heritage Act, sponsored by Representative Jimmy Dixon (R-4). This is a significant victory for hunters in North Carolina who will have the opportunity to hunt with firearms on Sundays on private land for the first time in 145 years. The NRA thanks Representative Dixon for championing this multipart, pro-hunting bill which will benefit current and future generations of sportsmen in North Carolina for years to come.
In addition to the Sunday Hunting provision, the Outdoor Heritage Act also establishes the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Trust Fund for Youth Outdoor Heritage Promotion—funded through voluntary check-off on hunting, fishing, and outdoor access licenses—as well as the Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council for the Fund’s administration. Other provisions add protections to private property rights and improve regulations related to hunting bear and fox.
However, in spite of these tremendous advancements, there are some details that hunters need to know. During the legislative process, Sunday hunting supporters were forced to accept many changes to get this bill across the finish line. These changes include misguided restrictions placed on hunters who choose to hunt with firearms on private land on Sundays.
As of October 1, 2015, any landowner or member of the landowner's family, or any person with written permission from the landowner, may hunt with the use of firearms on Sundays on the landowner's property, except that all of the following limitations apply:
- No hunting with firearms on private property between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sundays except on controlled hunting preserves.
- No hunting of migratory birds on Sundays.
- No hunting deer with dogs on Sundays.
- No hunting with firearms within 500 yards of a place of worship or within 500 yards of a residence not owned by the landowner on Sundays.
- No hunting with firearms on Sundays in counties with a population higher than 700,000 people (Wake and Mecklenburg counties).
- Counties may implement ordinances banning hunting with firearms on Sundays as of October 2017.
Your NRA-ILA would like to thank all legislators who voted in support of this legislation and Governor McCrory for signing the bill into law. NRA also thanks members who contacted their lawmakers in support of Sunday hunting, as passage would not have been possible without your active support. Your NRA will continue working to fully repeal North Carolina’s outdated Sunday hunting ban.