Tennessee Lawmakers Consider Constitutional Amendment to Protect Hunting, Fishing

A number of Tennessee lawmakers are lending their support for a constitutional amendment that would protect hunting and fishing in the state.

A joint resolution introduced into the Tennessee State House proposes amending the Tennessee Constitution to read,

The people have a right to hunt, fish, and harvest game, subject to such regulations and restrictions as prescribed by this constitution and general law. When reviewing such restrictions, a state court shall utilize a rational basis standard, as such standard has been defined by the courts through case law.

State Sen. Doug Jackson is supporting the same wording in the state Senate. Jackson told the Associated Press that the amendment is needed to protect hunting and fishing from well-funded anti-hunting groups such as the Humane Society of the United States,

There are very organized, very well-funded efforts to take away the right of citizens to hunt, fish and trap. I think it’s time we place in our constitution a guarantee for the citizen that they will be able to continue in that heritage.

Tennessee’s Wildlife Resources Agency supports the amendment in principle. TWRA assistant director Allen Gebhardt told the Associated Press that the agency would have to examine the wording, but that “It sounds, from our standpoint, like a wonderful idea.”

The full text of the resolution proposing to amend Tennessee’s constitution to protect hunting and fishing can be read here.


Tennessee joins states seeking ‘right to hunt’ legislation. WHNT-TV, February 2005.

Lawmakers want amendment shielding hunting rights. Matt Gouras, February 21, 2005.

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