February 20, 2014
Virginia Governor to Sign Sunday Hunting Bill
By Phil Bourjaily
Supporters of Sunday hunting in Virginia have won their long fight. A bill to allow hunting on Sundays has passed out of the Senate and awaits Governor Terry McAuliffe’s signature. The new law applies only to hunters with written permission on private property. Public lands remain closed under the old law, although waterfowl hunting will be allowed over public waters such as the Chesapeake Bay.
Surprisingly, as the Washington Post reported, support for the bill in Virginia’s house was overwhelming, with many of the supporters coming from urban and suburban northern Virginia, while most opposition to the bill came from conservative rural districts.
“We’re pushing God to the side,” said Thomas Wright (R-Lunenberg), himself a hunter who opposed the bill.
“Now Sundays are like almost any other day of the week,” he said. “Has it really helped our culture? Has it really helped our morals? The more we chip away at Sunday being the Lord’s Day, the worse it is for our country.”
Delegate Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax) said many of his suburban constituents, who have to travel to hunt and can’t make weekend hunting trips under the current ban, contacted him to voice support for the new law.
The bill awaits Governor McAuliffe’s signature. McAuliffe, who goes on an annual hunting trip to the Eastern Shore, has said he will sign the bill .