Voters in the November general election may find a proposed state constitutional amendment on the ballot. Dickson Senator Doug Jackson wants the voters to say that hunting and fishing is a constitutional right.
Jackson has been trying to get the amendment on the ballot since the early 1990s.
He says organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have tried in other states to restrict the right to hunt.
The amendment would specify the right to “harvest game” and to fish, with restrictions. It would not change current laws.
Senator Jackson calls it an environmental issue.
“The important thing for those that don’t hunt and fish is to understand is that it’s the sportsmen who speak with their dollars, and it’s the sportsmen that support the TWRA.”
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, or TWRA, uses money from hunting and fishing licenses to maintain wildlife habitats.
Jackson argues that even “watchable wildlife,” like songbirds and animals who aren’t hunted, benefit from those programs.
The Senate approved the amendment Thursday. If the House of Representatives agrees, the measure will go on the ballot nine months from now.