Texas bill proposes constitutional right to hunt

Written by Dallas Safari Club

A bill filed today in the Texas legislature proposes constitutional protections for hunting and fishing. Rep. Trent Ashby of Lufkin, Texas, authored the measure, HJR 61, with support and encouragement from the Dallas Safari Club.

“We applaud Rep. Ashby for introducing this important bill,” said Ben Carter, DSC executive director. “Our club was proud to help with the development of the language, and we’re anxious to do everything we can to help it move forward. This is a measure to help ensure the future of Texas’ rich sporting traditions, outdoor heritage and effective fish and wildlife conservation.”

Ashby said, “I was pleased to work with DSC and other stakeholders on this important piece of legislation. Hunting and fishing is a fundamental right which Texans hold dear, and ensuring our future generations of Texans access to this tradition is essential.”

Several other sporting organizations also were involved from the start, and more are expected to pledge support in coming days, said Carter.

The text of HJR 61, as introduced, reads as follows:

A JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing a constitutional amendment relating to the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1.

Article I, Texas Constitution, is amended by adding Section 34 to read as follows:

Sec. 34. (a) The people have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, including by the use of traditional methods, subject to laws or regulations to conserve and manage wildlife and preserve the future of hunting and fishing.

(b) Hunting and fishing are preferred methods of managing and controlling wildlife.

(c) This section does not affect any provision of law relating to trespass, property rights, or eminent domain.

SECTION 2. This proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 3, 2015. The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the proposition: “The constitutional amendment recognizing the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife subject to laws that promote wildlife conservation.”

“This amendment has been a priority for our organization for quite some time and our DSC-Austin representatives, Walt Smith and Milam Mabry, have continued to work with Rep. Ashby’s office on this legislation since his initial introduction of a similar measure last session,” Carter said. “As this legislation proves, Rep. Ashby is a champion of Texas hunters and anglers and we look forward to helping him get this measure in front of Texas voters.”

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