Sunday hunt going to court in Pennsylvania
Harrisburg — The fight to bring Sunday hunting to Pennsylvania is not over yet.
A grassroots sportsmen’s coalition called Hunters United for Sunday Hunting is preparing to take the battle to the courts rather than the state Legislature.
The group expects to sign a contract with an attorney within a few weeks, with the intention of going to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court with its case no later than July.
“We seek to re-establish hunting as a constitutional right and abolish the Sunday hunting ban at the same time,” said Kathy Davis, of Speers in Washington County, one of the group’s volunteers.
“That is our goal.”
That was also the goal of the National Rifle Association, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation and others last year when they put on a major push to convince state lawmakers to pass a bill that would have allowed the Pennsylvania Game Commission to decide if and when to include Sundays in hunting seasons.
But the bill never even came up for a vote.
That seemed to be the last chance for Sunday hunting advocates, at least for a while. But Hunters United for Sunday Hunting isn’t giving up.
In fact, the group is optimistic the long-standing law and some more recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions make this the perfect time to take on the Sunday hunting ban.
The fight will be expensive, though. The group estimates it will need $70,000 to $150,000 to wage a legal battle. It’s asking sportsmen to foot the bill.
“We want this to be a grassroots movement, and we want every Joe Hunter who contributes to have as much say as the next, whether they contribute $5 or $500,” Davis said.
The group collected more than $7,000 in its first two weeks. That’s enough to get started, and Davis and her fellow volunteers hope the suit will succeed where proposed legislation failed.
“Lawmakers had 25-plus years to act on this and they did not, so we’re going to take it out of their hands and go straight to the courts,” Davis said.