Two Texas Legislators are proposing to amend the Texas Constitution to protect the “Right to Hunt and Fish.” Resolutions to create the amendment have been authored by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) and Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin). If passed, the proposal would place the issue on the ballot for voter approval in November 2015.
The resolutions, SJR 22 and HJR 61, are strongly supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA). Executive Director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action Chris Cox said, “Adding the Right to Hunt and Fish to the Texas constitution would protect sporting traditions in the Lone Star State from well-funded efforts by national extremist groups to ban hunting.” The comment came in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. Cox called the measure an “important constitutional safeguard [that] will protect wildlife and promote conservation.”
“The Texas State Rifle Association joined with the NRA and sporting groups from around the state to support the resolutions,” said Alice Tripp, Legislative Director for the Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA), in response to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas. The TSRA is the state affiliate of the NRA. “The goal is to create meaningful language and to join 18 other states which have passed similar constitutional protections and guarantee that public hunting and fishing remain the preferred means for wildlife management in Texas and include the use of traditional methods currently in place.”
“As a rancher and avid hunter myself, I am proud to work with Representative Ashby to reaffirm our strong hunting and fishing heritage here in Texas,” said Senator Creighton. “Hunting and fishing are crucial to the preservation of our natural habitats and we must work diligently to ensure these rights are protected for generations to come.”
“I’m excited to work alongside my friend, Senator Creighton, to introduce this common-sense legislation,” said Representative Ashby. “Hunting and fishing are not only engrained in our state’s culture, but natural methods to manage and conserve our wildlife. Texas has an obligation to take a strong stand on this issue.”
There are currently eighteen other states that have this type of protections for their citizens embedded in their state constitutions. Vermont’s protection dates back to 1777 according to an article by Douglas Shinkle published in the National Conference of State Legislators. Seventeen of the eighteen states added an amendment with voter approval. Those states are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. California and Rhode Island only guarantee the right to fish. They do not include the right to hunt. These measures were approved after 1996.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.