Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in Senate Room A of the General Assembly Building, the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee will consider four bills that would repeal the statewide ban on Sunday hunting in Virginia.
Currently, Virginia is one of only six states in the country that strictly bans hunting on Sundays. This prohibition harms Virginia’s economy and threatens the very future of our hunting heritage by discouraging hunter recruitment and retention. It is time that the decision on this hunting policy, like virtually all others, be delegated to the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries.
At a time when the economy is struggling and too many Virginians are out of work, legislators must not continue to refuse the enormous economic benefits associated with allowing hunting on Sundays. Comprehensive research from the National Shooting Sports Foundation shows that allowing hunting on Sundays would generate a total annual economic impact estimated at $296 million and create 3,927 jobs. All of this would be spurred by simply eliminating words from state statute books (the current prohibition), not spending taxpayer dollars on some pie-in-the-sky scheme.
Three of the four Sunday hunting bills are essentially identical. Senate Bill 151 (sponsored by state Senator Phillip Puckett (D-38)), Senate Bill 464 (sponsored by state Senator Ralph Northram (D-6)) and Senate Bill 512 (sponsored by state Senator Frank Wagner (R-7)) would repeal the current ban by striking the section of the state code that directly forbids any type of hunting on Sundays. Under Senate Bill 173, sponsored by Chap Petersen (D-34), the ban would be repealed by adding language to allow persons to hunt on their own land, as well as any other private land as long as they have written permission from the property owner.
Please contact members of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee TODAY and urge them to support repealing this antiquated ban on Sunday hunting. Their contact information can be found here.