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South Carolina Hunting and Fishing Amendment, Amendment 1 (2010)

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The South Carolina Hunting and Fishing Amendment, also known as Amendment 1, was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the state of South Carolina as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.Approveda The measure was proposed to allow residents in the state the right to hunt and fish. Although South Carolina residents did have this right, the measure was proposed in order to solidify that right, according to proponents.[1]

Brian White, Michael Pitts, McLain Toole, Mark Willis, Liston Barfield, Alan Clemmons, Nelson Hardwick and George Hearn are the authors of the measure.

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results

Official election results of the measure follow:

South Carolina Amendment 1 (Hunting and Fishing)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,126,228 88.97%
No139,66811.03%

Official results via the South Carolina State Election Commission

Text of amendment

Official ballot title

The official ballot title that South Carolina voters saw read as follows:

Must Article I of the Constitution of this State, relating to the declaration of rights under the state's constitution, be amended by adding Section 25 so as to provide that hunting and fishing are valuable parts of the state's heritage, important for conservation, and a protected means of managing nonthreatened wildlife; to provide that the citizens of South Carolina shall have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife traditionally pursued, subject to laws and regulations promoting sound wildlife conservation and management as prescribed by the General Assembly; and to specify that this section must not be construed to abrogate any private property rights, existing state laws or regulations, or the state's sovereignty over its natural resources?[1][2]
Explanation:
A ‘Yes' vote will make it a constitutional right for citizens to hunt and fish and will permit the State to legally provide for proper wildlife management and the protection of private property rights.
Yes []
No []

Summary

The summary of the proposed amendment read:[3]

A joint resolution to propose an amendment to Article I of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, relating to the declaration of rights under the state's constitution, by adding Section 25 so as to provide that hunting and fishing are valuable parts of the state's heritage, important for conservation, and a protected means of managing nonthreatened wildlife; to provide that the citizens of South Carolina shall have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife traditionally purued, subject to laws and regulations promoting sound wildlife conservation and management as prescribed by the General Assembly; and to specify that this section must not be construed to abrogate any private property rights, existing state laws or regulations, or the state's sovereignty over its natural resources.

Constitutional changes

The measure was proposed to amend Article I of the South Carolina Constitution by adding Section 25 to read as follows:[1]

"The traditions of hunting and fishing are valuable parts of the state's heritage, important for conservation, and a protected means of managing nonthreatened wildlife. The citizens of this State have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife traditionally pursued, subject to laws and regulations promoting sound wildlife conservation and management as prescribed by the General Assembly. Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate any private property rights, existing state laws or regulations, or the state's sovereignty over its natural resources."

Support

A turkey hunter in South Carolina. Photo credit: Low Country Hunting

Supporters

  • The Wildlife Federation was a supporter of the measure. According to Cary Chamblee, who spoke on behalf of the organization, "It's important because all of the country, over the past 10-15 years, there have been challenges to hunting and fishing from animal rights groups, mostly, and this is kind of forward thinking...As a state grows and urbanizes, and fewer and fewer people as a percentage are hunting and fishing, we want to retain those rights."[4]
  • Bob Scott, chief executive officer of the South Carolina Forestry Association, claimed that state and national groups that opposed hunting could threaten the sport in the future. Scott commented on the groups, "They have very effective leaders, and they're adept at marketing their position perhaps better than some of the hunting and fishing organizations,"[5]

Arguments

  • According to resident Earl Kennamer, the measure was important towards the future of hunting. The measure, according to Kennamer,would ensure that hunting would not be make illegal: "Hunting is part of my life. It’s my touch to nature...I'm worried about having legislation passed by different entities that want to stop hunting. I’m worried they will one day get rid of hunting altogether."[6]

Opposition

Opponents

  • The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were against the measure. According to organization spokesperson Ryan Huling, “We think there are so many better ways to enjoy nature than killing a piece of it. PETA as an organization exists to remind people that there’s really no difference in abusing cats and dogs to abusing deer and fish. These animals all feel pain in exactly the same way.”[6]

Media endorsements

See also: Endorsements of South Carolina ballot measures, 2010

Support

  • The Post and Courier was in favor of the measure, arguing, "Ten states have approved a constitutional right to hunt -- the first being Vermont in 1777. South Carolina should join that group with a "Yes" vote on constitutional Amendment 1 on Nov. 2. The amendment also would grant the same protected status to fishing."[7]
  • The Spartanburg Herald Journal urged voters to vote 'yes' on the measure, writing in an editorial, "While it is unlikely that state law would be changed to infringe on these rights, it is harder to predict what Congress might do. Having these rights enshrined in the state constitution might enhance the state's ability to fight federal action to restrict hunting and fishing."[8]

Path to the ballot

The measure was first introduced to the South Carolina House of Representatives on February 10, 2009, where it was approved by the chamber with a vote of 106-1. The measure was then sent to the South Carolina State Senate, where the chamber approved the measure, after making amendments. The measure was then approved by the House and sent to the ballot. Section 1 of Article XVI of the South Carolina Constitution says that a legislatively-referred amendment can go on the ballot if approved by a 2/3rds vote of each house of the South Carolina State Legislature. (If the state's voters approve the amendment, it must then go back to the legislature for a second affirmative vote.)[9]

Similar measures

See also Certified 2010 hunting ballot measures

Similar measures that have been certified for the ballot in other states in 2010 include the following:

See also

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