North Carolina: The National Rifle Association and North Carolina hunters scored a victory on June 24, when the State Senate passed House Bill 640, the Outdoor Heritage Act. The bill now heads to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk for signature and if signed, would bring North Carolina in line with the majority of the country where hunting with firearms on private property is allowed seven days a week during hunting season. The Outdoor Heritage Act removes the absolute prohibition on hunting on Sundays with a firearm on private land. However, there are still unnecessary restrictions, such as a prohibition on hunting with firearms between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. The NRA will continue working to fully lift the restrictions on Sunday hunting in future legislative sessions.
Pennsylvania: On Tuesday, June 16, the National Rifle Association was pleased to join State Rep. Frank Farina, D-Lackawanna, and Rep. Robert Godshall, R-Montgomery, for a press conference announcing the introduction of legislation to expand Sunday hunting opportunities in Pennsylvania. Only two groups of hunters in Pennsylvania are currently allowed to hunt on Sunday; those who hunt certain varmints and those who own large tracts of land. House Bill 1374 simply would expand Sunday hunting opportunities and give the wildlife experts at the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to regulate the seasons, times and bag limits as they do for the other six days of the week.
The NRA is a member of a coalition of national sportsmen’s groups who started the Families Afield program a little more than a decade ago to promote apprentice hunting programs as a “try before you buy” approach to hunting. By providing an apprentice license, states allow newcomers to experience hunting under the supervision of a knowledgeable mentor before attending a hunter education course.
During the 2015 legislative session, the Families Afield program had major victories in Iowa, Colorado and Montana, bringing the number of states participating in the program to 38. Also this session, Tennessee and Maine strengthened their existing apprentice hunting programs.
The NRA opposes, under any circumstances, legislation that would make sellers of legal ivory potential criminals overnight, as well as destroy the value of property held by countless gun owners and collectors. Following federal rulemakings in 2014 and at the request of the Humane Society of the United States, legislation to ban the intrastate sale, possession with intent to sell, purchase, trade, and barter of legal ivory is being introduced across the country. These proposals are based on an entirely false premise that they will affect illegal activity in Africa and Asia. Thus far in 2015, 19 states and the District of Columbia have proposed to ban legal ivory. NRA-ILA successfully lobbied against and defeated 15 of these proposals as of mid-June and will continue to fight the five remaining proposals.