Tennessee voters will decide on hunting and fishing amendment

Tennessee voters will decide on hunting and fishing amendment

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By HARLOW SUMERFORD
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The governor's race is the big issue on the Tennessee election ballot, but voters are also asked for a yes or no vote on a constitutional amendment about hunting and fishing.

The amendment states in part: "The citizens of this state shall have the personal right to hunt and fish, subject to reasonable regulations and restrictions prescribed by law."

Since hunting and fishing are already legal in Tennessee, some question why the amendment is on the ballot.

"Throughout history, we see activist courts come in and change things. It used to be that children could pray in school and suddenly courts show up and say you can't do that. For thousands of years, marriage was between a man and a woman. Courts show up and say no, it can be between a man and a man," says Rep. Bill Dunn, a Knoxville Republican.

Supporters like Dunn admit there's no active campaign in Tennessee to ban any type of hunting or fishing.

When told about the amendment, voters on Friday had strong opinions.

"I think it is a good thing because I don't want to be 10 years down the road and somebody come in with different views than we have now and change what we have. I like to hunt and fish and if they took that away, I'd have a lot of spare time and I'd be bored," voter Bubba Bowers said.

"I have a six-year-old son and I want him to not only have the memory of us fishing, but to take my grand kids fishing too. And my brother hunts and I want for his kids to one day continue that on," said another voter, Tina McCoy.

Others have concerns about changing the state constitution, and question whether the amendment is necessary.

"I'm for hunting and fishing, but I don't know enough about it and I'm really leery about voting for it anyway. So I don't know if I will vote for it. I may just leave it, and I wish there would be more discussion about it," Rick Roop said.

The Tennessee Wildlife Federation is a main supporter of the amendment. The organization helped craft the language in the amendment.

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