IN hunting amendment could change everything...or nothing

IN hunting amendment could change everything...or nothing

CORYDON, IN (WAVE) - It's a constitutional amendment that could change all of Indiana's hunting laws or none of them.

Tuesday, Indiana voters will decide if hunting and fishing should be a right protected under its constitution.

Charles Swank manages Gun World and Sporting Goods in Corydon.

"It's a very big deal to people," Swank said of hunting in the area. "We've got guys that come in here. They take two weeks of their vacation just to hunt when the season opens."

He said to him, hunting and fishing is already a right.

"Without hunting, would any of us still be here," Swank said.

While the amendment flew through the state legislature, it has seen opposition. Tim Maloney work for the Hoosier Environmental Council, which has been one of the strongest opponents.

"It's simply not necessary and it's a solution in search of a problem," Maloney said.

He said he's concerned voters will be confused by the question, thinking a "no" vote would make hunting against the law.

"It's not about whether hunting and fishing should be allowed," he said.

He said if hunting and fishing become protected, a person could challenge hunting regulations and possibly get them overturned in court.

"We feel strongly that the state should have the ability to regulate hunting and fishing, setting things like seasons and bag limits," Maloney said.

Nineteen other states have passed constitutional protections for hunting and fishing and while there haven't been issues with regulations taken away, it could be a concern.

"It's a God-given right," Swank said. "I mean you should be to hunt and fish and take game anytime you want."

Swank does feel the amendment came out of nowhere.

"I don't like the whole idea of who's pushing the agenda," he said.

The NRA publicly lobbied for the new amendment.

"There was no groundswell of local Indiana groups or people who were behind this," Maloney said. "It was the National Rifle Association."

The last amendment to the Indiana constitution was six years ago when the state voted in favor of property tax caps.

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