The first of six proposed amendments to the North Carolina constitution on this year’s a ballot would preserve the right to hunt and fish in the state.
Democratic state senator Terry Van Duyn of Buncombe County was one of just a handful of legislators - all of whom were Democrats - that voted against the bill that put the proposed amendment to voters. “When I asked in committee what will this amendment do, and what are the impediments to hunting and fishing in North Carolina, I could not get a straight answer," Van Duyn says. "And so I just can’t support modifying our constitution without a compelling reason.”
Buncombe County Republican party chairman Dr. Carl Mumpower says while he finds it ‘curious’ that the right to hunt and fish was put to voters as a constitutional amendment, he very much supports it. “We (Republicans) believe in the second amendment, and the other side is looking for every way to undermine it," Mumpower says. "They don’t like things they don’t know, they don’t like things that threaten them, and certainly guns threaten them. Hunting is a heritage in the state and we’re trying to preserve that.”
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have the right to hunt and fish preserved in their constitutions, with voters in Indiana and Kansas being the most recent (2016) to approve amendments similar to what North Carolina voters will decide Tuesday.