After several months away, members of the North Carolina General Assembly returned to Raleigh last week.
One of the items facing lawmakers is a highly divided issue - should they change the 137-year-old law banning hunting on Sunday? Right now, the Tarheel State is one of only 11 states in the country to ban hunting on Sunday.
If a recent poll is any indication, North Carolinians are divided on the issue. In 2005, Governor Easley requested the state's Wildlife Resources Commission to conduct a survey on the public's attitude on Sunday hunting.
Last December the results were presented. Of the twelve-hundred people contacted, 65 percent were opposed to relaxing the current ban and 82 percent of those opposed cited religious reasons, indicating that the Sabbath is a day of rest.
When it came to the hunters themselves, the outcome of the survey was much closer; 49 percent indicated they wanted to change the law, while 45 percent said leave it the way it is. The WRC, which has no authority to change the law, sent the survey results to the legislature for a final decision; and that's where it stands right now.
There's no indication when lawmakers will take up the issue, but in the meantime, if the outcome matters to you, you should contact your local Senator and Representative to voice your opinion.
No doubt when it does come up later this year, it is going to be a hot button issue from Murphy to Manteo. We believe the debate may raise another question, and I know we'll be hearing from quite a few of you on this, "If it's illegal to hunt on Sundays, why is it legal to fish on Sundays?" That's what we think. Tell us what you think!