Several state lawmakers want constitutional protection for Kentuckians' right to hunt and fish, although they acknowledge that no authority has threatened this right in anyone's memory.
A bill calling for a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment was pre-filed for the 2011 General Assembly by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg; Rep. Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville; and Rep. John "Bam" Carney, R-Campbellsville. The legislature convenes Jan. 4.
"The citizens of Kentucky have the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife, including the use of traditional methods, subject only to statutes enacted by the legislature," the amendment would read, in part. "Public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife."
The measure reflects bipartisan concern in Frankfort following President Barack Obama's health-care law and what some people see as overreaching by the federal government, Carney said. The right to own and use guns might be targeted by federal legislation in the future, he said.
"We thought it was important that we make a statement here for states' rights," Carney said. "I don't see any imminent threat to our hunting rights at the moment. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say."
Read more of this story at Kentucky.com