Pennsylvania sportsmen and women are sick of legislators dragging their feet to defend constitutional rights. As a result, hunters are fighting with renewed vigor and organization through the recent formation of the non-profit Hunters United for Sunday Hunting (HUSH).
HUSH, launched on May 7, is taking its fight to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The organization is confident the court will lift the state’s ban based on the advice of constitutional scholars, but it is fighting amidst the failure of similar proposals to overturn the ban in three states at the beginning of this year.
Kathy Davis, director of HUSH, put the injustice into perspective on Lehigh Valley Live: “…they wouldn’t say you have the right to bear arms except on Sundays or you have freedom of the press except on Sundays. Rights are subject to reasonable restrictions, and a day of the week is not a reasonable restriction.”
Davis says that even through subsequent amendments to the constitution the right to hunt has been preserved. Yet, “blue laws” like this ban remain unchallenged as bills against them sit in legislative limbo.
The most recent attempt at opposition was in fall 2011, when state rep., John Evans, introduced House Bill 1760, that would give the Pennsylvania game commission the authority to allow Sunday hunting. After public opposition by groups such as the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Lehigh Valley Live reports “no movement on the bill.”
But why oppose lifting the ban when it seems both constitutional and productive?
Davis says that, in addition to defending constitutional rights, HUSH is motivated to attract more hunters that are currently being alienated by this ban. This would increase jobs, wages, and contribute significantly to growth in the economy. See NSSF’s official stats here: Bills to Lift Sunday Hunting Bans Fail in Three States.
The legal cost of the endeavor is estimated between $70,000 and $150,000, but the nonprofit has already received $10,000 in donations during their first month. Find more information about HUSH and their efforts to end the ban at www.huntsunday.com.