The House voted 37-18 Wednesday to put a constitutional right to hunt and fish in the Arizona Constitution.
Backers of HCR 2008 say the measure is designed to deter special interests from proposing ballot measures which would limit the ability to hunt, either by restricting the methods available or by deciding that certain species should not be hunted. That happened more than a decade ago when an initiative successfully banned the use of steel-jawed leghold traps.
But Rep. Nancy Young Wright, D-Tucson, said it’s wrong to enact a constitutional amendment saying that hunting is the preferred method of animal control.
“The wildlife belongs to all of Arizona citizens, both hunters and non-hunters, anglers and non-anglers, those who watch wildlife and those who don’t,” she said.
The measure now goes to the Senate. But the final word would be up to voters who would have to approve the change in November.