Pennsylvania Sunday Hunting Bill Clears First Hurdle

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CALL NOW! Pennsylvania hunters need to contact their Senator immediately to ask them to vote for Senate Bill 147 to allow the game commission to permit Sunday hunting. Please ask your Senator to reject attempts to water the bill down by only allowing three Sundays. Let them know that hunting seasons, including on Sundays, should be set by the game commission. Sportsmen can contact their state senators by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.

Pennsylvania Sen. Laughlin’s (R-Erie) legislation that would finally lift the ban on Sunday hunting in the state was passed by the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 5, by a vote of 8-3. Senate Bill 147 would eliminate the legislative prohibition on Sundays, clearing the way for the Pennsylvania Game Commission to decide which Sundays make the most sense. The bill will most likely be sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“The committee’s overwhelming passage of Senate Bill 147 is a clear signal that support for Sunday hunting is popular with Pennsylvanians from every corner of the Commonwealth,” said Bruce Tague, Sportsmen’s Alliance vice president of government affairs. “But there are still powerful organizations who oppose scientific wildlife management policies used in nearly every other state nationwide, and sportsmen need to make sure that their voices continue to be heard and not drowned out by the tiny but powerful opposition.”

Pennsylvania is one of only three states (Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania) that have a near-total ban on hunting on Sunday. All of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states allow Sunday hunting (Maryland, New York, Ohio and West Virginia). Virginia repealed its Sunday hunting ban in 2014. The Sportsmen’s Alliance has been coordinating with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and Hunters United for Sunday Hunting (HUSH) on a campaign to lift the ban. 

In addition to the opportunity for sportsmen, an economic analysis commissioned by NSSF revealed that opening Sundays would create an annual impact of nearly $1 billion per year to Pennsylvania. Despite this incredible impact, opponents of Sunday hunting are working to amend the bill to limit it to only three Sundays each year, instead of allowing the state game commission to make this decision. This would tie the game commission’s hands, removing the flexibility to open the Sundays that make the most sense for proper wildlife and habitat management.   

“It is beyond time to repeal Pennsylvania’s antiquated and unnecessary ban on Sunday hunting,” said Tague. “This is an easy decision, the legislature would be wise to remove the prohibition, giving landowners and farmers more control over their properties, while adding additional days of opportunity for sportsmen. It’s a win-win.” 

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.