Safari Club International (SCI) commends North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper for signing into law House Bill 559, Outdoor Heritage Enhanced. The Governor signed the bill on July 25, 2017. Representatives Chris Millis and John Bell sponsored this bipartisan legislation.
Prior to Governor Cooper’s signature, North Carolina permitted some hunting on Sundays. In 2015, North Carolina’s legislature passed the Outdoor Heritage Act which permitted Sunday hunting, subject to a few restrictions.
House Bill 559 makes a number of improvements to the Outdoor Heritage Act, by removing several of the restrictions. The new law expands and enhances Sunday hunting opportunities by:
- Allowing the hunting of migratory birds under rules established by the Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) and subject to time and place restrictions (for public lands, the WRC cannot authorize migratory bird hunting until March 1, 2018);
- Allowing the hunting of wild animals and upland game birds on public lands managed by the State for hunting, subject to rules adopted by the WRC and to time and place restrictions (and a restriction on using a firearm to take deer that are chased by dogs);
- Removing the current prohibition on hunting on private property within 500 yards of a residence not owned by the private property owner;
- Removing the current prohibition on Sunday hunting in counties with populations greater than 700,000; and
- Requiring that any county ordinance restricting Sunday hunting be “approved by a majority of those voting in a county-wide referendum” conducted under State laws.
The N.C. Sunday Hunting Coalition, including SCI, the National Rifle Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Delta Waterfowl, worked closely with state legislators and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to advance this important legislation on behalf of the 1.6 million North Carolina sportsmen and women.
SCI appreciates all of its members who contacted Governor Cooper and urged him to sign House Bill 559 into law. Your voices were heard and made a difference!