Right-to-Hunt Bill: Only 4 ‘Nays’ En Route to Texas Ballot

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Dallas Safari Club

Dallas, TX -(AmmoLand.com)- With only four dissenting votes, a bill offering constitutional protections for hunting and fishing in Texas easily passed both chambers of the state legislature and will next appear on the November ballot.

DSC has pledged to continue supporting the measure to help ensure the future of sporting lifestyles and successful wildlife conservation and management.

Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) and Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) spearheaded SJR 22 through the legislative process, which passed its final legislative hurdle on May 20.

“We applaud and congratulate all of the lawmakers who voted to protect not only our state’s outdoor heritage, but also a lifestyle that’s close to hearts of millions of Texans who enjoy hunting, fishing, wildlife and wild places,” said Ben Carter, DSC executive director. “Our club was proud to work with Rep. Ashby and Sen. Creighton to pass this critical legislation. We look forward to working with them and our partner organizations for a positive vote in November.”

Carter says the goal behind the effort to amend the Texas constitution is preempting a growing national trend by out-of-state animal rights groups who fund ad campaigns, ballot initiatives, lawsuits and sponsored legislation to chip away at hunting and fishing.

Eighteen states have already added proactive amendments to their constitutions.

Ashby said, “The passage of the Right to Hunt and Fish constitutional amendment from the House today ensures the voters of Texas have the opportunity to solidify this right for future Texans. By placing this on the November ballot, we have given all Texans the right to pass on our outdoor heritage to the coming generations.”

Creighton said, “With recent lawsuits across the country successfully denying citizens certain hunting rights, our state’s strong sporting heritage is threatened and needs protection now more than ever. It has been a privilege to work alongside Rep. Ashby in this landmark passage to secure our right to hunt, fish, and preserve our natural habitats here in Texas.”

“Thank you to the Dallas Safari Club, National Rifle Association and over 60 sportsmen’s organizations for their strong support of this legislation. I am eager for it be presented to our voters this November,” added Creighton.

Carter wrote a newspaper opinion-editorial about the economic and other benefits that could stem from Creighton and Ashby’s legislative efforts. The op-ed appeared in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Other Texas Measures:

DSC applauds passage of the following bills, which recently cleared the Texas legislature and were signed into law by the governor. (Note: The constitutional amendment measure did not need the governor’s signature. With a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of the legislature, it now moves directly to the November ballot.)

  • HB 158 – Diversion from Texas Parks and Wildlife. Ends the long-standing practice of diverting funds from Texas parks and ensures that parks get the funding they deserve so that future generations can enjoy them.
  • HB 721 – Licenses for Veterans. Reduces the threshold for free hunting and fishing licenses for disabled veterans. Instead of 60 percent disabled as determined by the Department of Veteran’s affairs, those who are 50 percent disabled will now qualify.
  • HB 821 – Social Security Number Requirement for Minors. Waives the requirement that hunting and fishing license applicants under the age of 13 must have a social security number.
  • HB 1584 – Donation to the Veterans Assistance Program. Provides an opportunity for hunting and fishing license applicants, either at point-of-sale locations or on the Internet, to donate up to $20 to the Texas Veteran’s Assistance Fund.

Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Packages:

Along with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and a large coalition of organizations, DSC is actively supporting two critical measures in Congress, including:

SHARE Act (HR 2406)

Introduced in May by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) along with Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) and Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act (HR 2406) is a package of bills to increase access to public lands for hunting, recreational shooting, fishing and other outdoor activities.

Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 (S. 405)

Introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), S. 405 is a package of measures that will expand, enhance and protect America’s hunting, fishing and conservation heritage.

Partners Stop Onerous Travel Rules:

The National Rifle Association and numerous partners including DSC recently stopped an Obama Administration policy that would have complicated international travel with firearms and ammunition.

Organizations and lawmakers turned up the heat on U.S. Customs and Border Protection in March when it began quietly implementing new rules and procedures for temporary export of firearms. The procedures promised unnecessary headaches for international hunters and threatened to create a national gun registry. A nutshell explanation of the issue was posted on the DSC website.

But in late April the NRA announced that the federal agency had returned to its previous system and abandoned the changes. That announcement is posted here.

About Dallas Safari Club (DSC)

Desert bighorns on an unbroken landscape, stalking Cape buffalo in heavy brush, students discovering conservation. DSC works to guarantee a future for all these and much more. An independent organization since 1982, DSC has become an international leader in conserving wildlife and wilderness lands, educating youth and the general public, and promoting and protecting the rights and interests of hunters worldwide.

Get involved at www.biggame.org.