Archive for Friday, April 4, 2008

Plan would add hunting, fishing to Bill of Rights

April 4, 2008


On the street

Do you think Kansans should have a constitutional right to hunt and fish?

Well, enough of our rights have been eroded that I think we ought to write it down, so yes, I do.

More responses

— Kansans would be able to vote on whether to add to the Kansas Bill of Rights a constitutional right to hunt and fish, according to a proposal before the Legislature.

The proposed constitutional amendment rocketed through the House on a 99-21 vote on Thursday. If approved in the Senate by a two-thirds vote - 27 votes in the 40-member Senate - the measure will be on the November ballot.

If voters were to approve it, the right to hunt and fish would be elevated in the state Bill of Rights to the same status as the freedoms of religion and speech.

Under HCR 5037, "The people have a right to hunt, fish and trap and harvest game, subject to reasonable regulations approved by the state legislature."

The right would not change any provisions related to trespass, eminent domain or other property rights, supporters said.

"This constitutional amendment protects and preserves traditional forms of hunting, fishing and trapping," said state Rep. Richard Carlson, R-St. Marys.

Carlson said the amendment is needed because anti-hunting organizations want to "end all consumptive sporting practices."

The National Rifle Association supports the measure and sent a lobbyist from Fairfax, Va., to testify for it.

The NRA's Jordan Austin said the amendment would protect hunters against "politically motivated bans on bow hunting or hunting with hounds."

Christopher Tymeson, chief legal counsel with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, however, said an election on the amendment could backfire.

Tymeson said the proposal could "serve as a rallying cry for anti-hunting, fishing and trapping groups to create a cohesive group where one does not currently exist in Kansas."

He also said that elevating the rights of hunting and fishing to a constitutional right could interfere with rules to manage natural resources and enforce such laws such as the inspection of bag limits.


Poon 10 years, 2 months ago

I sense another "little tallywhacker" comment getting posted sometime today...

WHY 10 years, 2 months ago

Can we also add trukin and muddn. What about spitten tobacy juice. YeHaw!!!!!!

50YearResident 10 years, 2 months ago

It may backfire in a way not thought of by the KDWP.
A hunter or fisherman might claim his constitutional right to hunting and fishing doesn't require him to buy a license.

KLATTU 10 years, 2 months ago

Way to work on real problems Kansas legislature. If I pulled this sort of BS at my job I'd be fired.

geekin_topekan 10 years, 2 months ago

Hey!How come my earlier words of absolute truth and profound wisdom did not get posted?OK,Ill say them again.Fishing and hunting (morels included) are human nature.Not a right to legislated.Homeless camping,now THAT is a human right.If their must be a rule against it, their must also be a provision provided by the law makers as a compromise.That is the law of nature.For every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction.

dirkleisure 10 years, 2 months ago

Hunting with hounds?What about hunting with labs? Or hunting with pointers? Or hunting with persian kittens?Is the NRA saying it is against prohibiting hunting with hounds but would ban hunting with labrador retrievers?The NRA. Anti Lab.

MCwzMC 10 years, 2 months ago

What a WASTE of taxpayer money. Remember when Missouri tried to pass the law declaring the Jayhawk the official game bird of MO?This is almost as ridiculous.Maybe out legislators should also adopt a new state motto since they clearly have nothing better to do:"Sadly, the negative stereotypes Kansas continues to perpetuate about itself are unintentional."

gr 10 years, 2 months ago

"A hunter or fisherman might claim his constitutional right to hunting and fishing doesn't require him to buy a license."Well, that's what I get from it. Otherwise, only rich people have the privilege.

pinecreek 10 years, 2 months ago

So these are the 'great issus of state' that our legislators choose to focus on these days...absolutely pitiful. This state is getting exactly what it deserves and voted for...surely this is yet another sign that we've lost our way as a nation and our best days may now be behind us. Way to go guys (and gals).

july241983 10 years, 2 months ago

And a hunter or fisherman might also claim that their rights are being infringed by polluters. This could end up being pro-environment. I, for one, am all for it.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 2 months ago

It would be better to say that, as a natural right, it cannot be banned. However, in this society it is necessarily subject to so much regulation that it must be considered and deemed a privilege.I, personally, would rather see it declared a religion!~)

justthefacts 10 years, 2 months ago

What a waste of time. Indeed. Just to give you a brief glimpse into the other wasted space types of things that are taking up time, paper, and space in the state-house: Gives the Legislators and their staff an amendment to the usual rules for disposal of surplus property, in this case computers. There are currently a lot of Legislative folks who have already bought "new" (2 years old) lap-tops for $300 or less. Not waiting to make that legal. would ban smoking indoors in most public places. would ban smoking in a car with kids. gives Legislator's each a full time staff member. Restricts possession of some weapons . Quite a long list.And then there are dozens of "resolutions" - which are nothing more then a wish being expressed - taking up time and paper. For example: requests the Capitol Area Plaza Authority to develop a master plan for improving the appearance and security of the Capitol area and surrounding neighborhoods, in cooperation with the City of Topeka.... urges the State Board of Education to focus more specifically on the reading needs of children with dyslexia....There are tons more of these do-nothing resolutions, if you want to look at them. What a giant waste. Personal letters written by the legislators supporting these resolutions would take less time, have as much impact, and cost the tax payers far less money then is currently being spent to pay legislative staff to draft, make hundreds of copies, and mail these things out to all the many offices receiving copies of bills. If you want to see what your law-makers are "up-to" this year (or any other) just go to You can type in a key word (or two) if you have a particular concern.Meanwhile, I really wish some media person would pick up the story about the surplus computers being bought at bargain prices by the Legislative staff!

EasilyAmused 10 years, 2 months ago

Would this "right" allow people who fail to pay child support to get hunting and fishing licenses?

james bush 10 years, 2 months ago

How about hunting for worthwhile issues to legislate instead of stupid stuff like this!

BlackVelvet 10 years, 2 months ago

pondering some of the above responses....."let me see, I don't like hunting or fishing, therefore it is a waste of time and anyone who practices such a heathen pasttime is an embarrasment to Kansas"......hmmmmm

campionrules 10 years, 2 months ago

Eh...this is just a normal piece of throw-away legislation. Several great plains states have this on a constitutional level. North Dakota and Montana to name a couple. It's normal brought up by somebody who thinks the 'GREENS!!!!' or Al Gore are going to take away their guns....which you never know....heh

denak 10 years, 2 months ago

This is ridiculous. Does anyone really believe that hunting and fishing are on the same level as freedom of religion, speech, the protection against unlawful searches and seizures, and against cruel and unusual punishment to name just a few real constitutionally protected natural rights.Hunting, for the overwhelming majority, of people is a sport.Fishing, for the overwhelming majority of people, is a sport.Most people, including the majority of people who fish and hunt, do not NEED to fish and hunt. They do it for pleasure. Like everyone else, they get the majority of their food at the supermarket.A car is more of a neccessity in this day and age, and it isn't a "constitutionally protected right" so why should fishing and hunting be.If people who fish and hunt, want more protection, they should lobby the legislature just like any other group. They should get laws, state laws, not a constitutional amendment, to protect hunting and fishing.However, I think it is obvious to most that this constitutional amendment really has nothing to do with hunting and fishing per se. This amendment is nothing more than an attempt by the NRA to bolster gun "rights."DenaOn a side note, I happen to think that the bill to help dyslexic children read is a good thing.

curiosityandthecat 10 years, 2 months ago

The KS and US Bill of Rights promises Kansans that "no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the occupant, nor in time of war, except as prescribed by law."During the colonial era, British troops routinely stayed in private homes, inciting many complaints, and eventually a Constitutional protection, against this practice. There were warranted reasons for including this protection both in the US and KS Bill of Rights. Although the amendment seems useless now, the political situation then deemed it necessary to include this protection in the Bill of Rights. Like the Third Amendment, adding the right to hunt and fish to the KS Bill of Rights is obviously a reflection of the current political climate. Legislators and others will propose anything to make a political point. I'm not arguing that sportsmen should not be allowed to hunt or fish. It is simply unnecessary to include it in the same sacred document that protects many inherent freedoms. If this amendment is passes, which I doubt will happen, we will reflect in 50 or 200 years from now and see that it's simply political trickery: a desperate cry for political attention.

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