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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Hunting to be Heard in Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources

Senator Chap Petersen's SB850, repeal of the Sunday Hunting Ban, is on the docket Monday morning in Senate Agriculture, Conservation an Natural Resources.  It is important that if you have not already done so, that you contact members of the committee by email and urge them to support the bill. Governor McDonnell is supporting the bill, mainly because of the positive economic impact that allowing Sunday Hunting will have in Virginia.

Based on the current vote count, the main opposition to the bill is coming from rural legislators, both Democrat and Republican.  Below is a list of committee members that you should focus on when send your email asking them to support the bill.

Hanger, Watkins, Reynolds, Puckett, Ruff, Blevins, Obenshain, McDougleNortham, Stuart, Marsden

After letting committee members know how the bill may increase your opportunities to hunt, you should focus you comments on the positive impact that the bill will have on Virginia's economy.  Specifically:

  • An economic impact report released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has found that allowing Sunday hunting would result in the creation of an estimated 4,000 new Virginia jobs. The report also notes that these jobs would pay more than $105 million in wages and contribute approximately $300 million in additional economic activity to the commonwealth.
  • The NSSF report also notes that these jobs would pay more than $730 million in wages and contribute approximately $2.2 billion in additional economic activity to those states.
  • According to the DGIF 2006 survey of hunters, over three-quarters (77.5%) of responding hunters believed that Sunday hunting would increase the amount of time to hunt and 63% said it would increase “opportunities for hunters to try new places to hunt in Virginia.” This could mean increased revenues for hotels and restaurants if hunters travel more to hunt new locations.
  • Allowing hunting on Sundays would likely increase hunting license sales, and increase sales for sporting goods stores, guides, restaurants, gas stations, taxidermists, meat processors and others. It's popular with a majority of sportsmen and would have no impact on resource management.
If you can attend the committee meeting, it will be begin at 9:00AM in Senate Room B in the General Assembly Building behind the Capitol on the corner of 9th and Broad Streets in Richmond.  We need a large turnout for this meeting to show that hunters overwhelmingly support repeal of the Sunday Hunting Ban.  

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