The Texas Right to Hunt, Fish and Harvest Amendment has passed the Texas State Senate with a 27-3 vote and is now on the November 3, 2015 ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.

Dependent on voter approval in November, the amendment would provide for a right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife, including by the use of “traditional methods.” The measure would also designate hunting and fishing as “preferred methods of managing and controlling wildlife.” The proposed amendment would add a Section 34 to Article 1 of the Texas Constitution. The added Section 34 would be as follows:

(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.
(d) This section does not affect the power of the legislature to authorize a municipality to regulate the discharge of a weapon in a populated area in the interest of public safety.

The proposal by Sen. Brandon Creighton and R-Conroe, is aimed at preventing future lawsuits that may restrict hunting or fishing. Creighton stated that he was concerned by the recent lawsuits that have surfaced across the country which ended in successfully denying citizens certain hunting rights. The Senator stated that his aim is to pass this amendment to the Texas Constitution to protect Texas heritage that is currently threatened and in need of constitutional protections. If the amendment passes, Texas would join a list of other states in America whose state constitutions provide protections for citizens right to fish and hunt.

Currently, there are 18 states that have constitutional amendments providing the right to hunt and fish with Vermont being the very first enacted back in 1777. The other 17 states have followed suit since 1996;  Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Other states like California and Rhode Island have language in their constitutions guaranteeing the right to fish, but not specifically to hunt.

Texas is not the only state pushing for constitutional protections in 2015, 8 other states, Indiana,  Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon are also debating bills that would add a constitutional right to hunt and fish in their states.

Follow the link  to read Section 34.