The Pennsylvania State House took another step this week toward ending the prohibition on Sunday hunting in the state when the Pennsylvania House Game & Fisheries Committee favorably reported out Senate Bill 147. SB 147 will partially repeal the state’s antiquated ban on Sunday hunting.
Pennsylvania’s restrictions on Sunday hunting, originally enacted in the 19th century, now serve no purpose but to interfere with the right to hunt of the state’s outdoorsmen and women who work or attend school throughout the week. The prohibition on Sunday hunting ignores the fact that not only is hunting a deep part of Pennsylvania’s tradition and history, but also Pennsylvania sportsmen and women directly contribute billions of dollars each year to the economy while directly supporting over 25,000 jobs.
“These days, as both young hunters and experienced outdoorsmen lead busier lives than ever before, it is increasingly important that government not stand in the way of those who want to spend their limited free time continuing America’s hunting heritage,” said SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin. “If we want hunting to remain an economic staple in Pennsylvania it is critical that the state expands Sunday hunting opportunities, so I am excited that these state representatives have done the right thing and moved this bill one step closer to becoming law.”
SCI has worked with its Pennsylvania members and the Pennsylvania legislature in support of SB 147 since it was first introduced.
SCI Vice President, Don Detwiler, submitted written testimony in support of Senate Bill 147, which would expand additional hunting opportunities for Pennsylvania sportsmen and women by allowing hunting on three Sundays a year.
Allowing more opportunities will help recruit and retain a robust population of sportsmen and women that is needed to not only provide critical funding for conservation efforts in the Keystone State, but to also ensure Pennsylvania’s hunting heritage remains strong.
Hunting licenses sales, as well as Pittman-Robertson apportionments, are the major funding sources for the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC). Both of these critical revenue streams are dependent on strong hunter participation numbers to allow PGC to do the important conservation work they do, not only for the game species that hunters pursue, but also non-game species and the habitat they thrive in that everyone enjoys.
Currently, Pennsylvania residents can hike, bike, kayak, golf, fish and even gamble legally on Sundays. It is common sense to add hunting to the list of activities citizens of the Keystone state can choose to participate in.
SCI will continue to support any efforts to expand hunting opportunities in Pennsylvania which would pass on the rich tradition of hunting to the next generation of sportsmen and women in the Commonwealth.