WKU Public Radio News Staff
Sat November 3, 2012
NRA-Backed Amendment on Ballot Tuesday in Kentucky
Voters across the state will cast ballots on Election Day to decide whether hunting and fishing should be a constitutional right in Kentucky. The effort is backed by the National Rifle Association, which has pushed similar measures in 12 other states as a way to stop any possible effort in the future to ban hunting.
However, some say there's no need for the amendment because there is no threat to do away with hunting or fishing rights.
Deer hunter Nick Shack of California told The Kentucky Enquirer he favors the amendment as a way to protect a family tradition.
"I take a lot of pride in it," Shack said. "It gets me outside. It connects me with the past and the traditions of being outside hunting. It is camaraderie. I take a lot of hunting trips with friends. When I grew up, everyone deer hunted. It was a common thing, something we looked forward to every year."
However, Transylvania University Political Science Director Don Dugi said the amendment, if passed, wouldn't change anything.
"It leads the constitution to be a hodgepodge of junk," Dugi said.
NRA spokesman Darren LaSorte, said the proposal aims to prevent measures that being backed in other states to ban traditional methods of hunting from being introduced in Kentucky. He said some groups are morally opposed to hunting.
"We just want the regulations based on science," LaSorte said. "We don't want them based on emotional appeals. We want the biologists to do it."
House Speaker Great Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, co-sponsored the constitutional amendment and said it would mandate that Kentucky continue to use the quota system to manage hunts.
"We've got in Kentucky more deer and wild turkey than we did when Daniel Boone came through here," Stumbo said. "It is a good management practice. This would make hunting a right, not a privilege. That would carry with it certain constitutional guarantees."