If you live anywhere in the country other than 11 East Coast states, it's probably hard to understand why such a fuss is made over Sunday hunting. After all, 39 states have no restrictions on Sunday hunting whatsoever, and hunting on the seventh day is viewed no differently than hunting on any of the other six.In states like Pennsylvania, however, where the practice has been largely banned for generations, Sunday hunting remains a hotly contested issue. A remnant of the state's "blue laws," which once prohibited activities like fishing, shopping and sporting events from taking place on the Sabbath, Pennsylvania's ban on Sunday hunting has remained intact despite the fact that fellow Sunday hunting holdouts Virginia and West Virginia both passed laws in recent years relaxing their own restrictions.As it currently stands, Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania is permissible only in limited instances, such as when hunting coyotes, crows, feral swine and foxes, and for farmers taking deer or elk in protection of crops.Momentum has been building in recent years to further ease the state's Sunday hunting restrictions, and on Tuesday the National Rifle Association joined state Reps. Frank Farina, D-Lackawanna, and Robert Godshall, R-Montgomery, for a press conference announcing the introduction of legislation to expand Sunday hunting opportunities in Pennsylvania.“Expanding Sunday hunting allows those who spend the week working, attending school, caring for their family or volunteering in the community to enjoy more time in the great outdoors,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox. “America has an important hunting heritage and Pennsylvania's sportsmen and women deserve to have the same opportunities as hunters in other states.”This new legislation would give the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to allow hunting on eight to 12 Sundays each year. In 2011, the Board of Commissioners for the Pennsylvania Game Commission passed a resolution urging the General Assembly to repeal the state's prohibition on Sunday hunting, citing declining hunting participation and declining license sales as two primary reasons for the change.“Times have changed, our schedules and our lives have changed,” said Farina, the Democratic chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus. “It's time the outdated laws in Pennsylvania change as well.”In addition to the NRA, Farina and Godshall were also joined by fellow legislators and sportsmen and women representing sportsmen's groups across Pennsylvania.
NRA Backs Pennsylvania Sunday Hunting Legislation
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NRA-ILA Executive Director Randy Kozuch released the following statement.