Panel kills bill to allow Sunday hunting
A House subcommittee has defeated a Senate-approved bill that would have permitted hunting on Sundays in Virginia.
A subcommittee of the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee recommended Wednesday that Senate Bill 464 be tabled.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Northam, D-Norfolk, would have allowed hunting on Sundays on private property by the landowners, their immediate family or people who have written permission from the landowners.
At Wednesday’s meeting of the Natural Resources Subcommittee, Northam proposed an amendment to limit Sunday hunting to state or federal military bases and wildlife management areas.
Terrie Suit, Virginia’s secretary of veterans affairs and homeland security, was among the proponents of SB 464. She spoke in favor of the bill.
“Military installation representatives expressed informally that this would be beneficial to the military bases,” Suit said. “There is already shooting occurring on Sundays at these installations. This would just allow them to shoot at something that could perhaps benefit the dinner table.”
A hunter from Amelia County also supported the bill. He said he has two children who are at an age when they should learn to hunt. However, because of work and school schedules, the man said, it is difficult for him to be available to hunt on Saturdays.
Delegate Manoli Loupassi, R-Richmond, also spoke in favor of the measure.
“Hunting provides an opportunity for children to get outside and see that which they don’t normally see,” Loupassi said.
Opponents of SB 464 gathered at the subcommittee hearing to speak out against the legislation.
“Sunday hunting has been promoted as a property rights issue, a hunting issue and a gun rights issue,” said Will Shaw, a Louisa County resident and member of the National Rifle Association. “I submit that it’s really ‘a one-day-a-week peace and quiet’ issue.”
Shaw said Sunday should be a day for the community to share the outdoors and for residents to feel safe outside on their properties. Current state law prohibits hunting on Sunday on public or private land, declaring it a “rest day for all species of wild bird and wild animal life, except raccoons, which may be hunted until 2:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings.”
In January, the Senate passed SB 464 on a 29-11 vote and sent it to the House for consideration.
Before the subcommittee voted, Northam addressed the panel.
“The tradition of hunting and hunters is going away,” he said. “It’s a tradition that I feel strongly about – that we as hunters and as outdoorsmen all need to work together to protect and promote.”
Delegate R. Lee Ware, R-Powhatan, chairs the subcommittee. First, he called for a vote on the amendment to limit Sunday hunting to military bases and wildlife management areas.
That vote failed, 4-3.
Then Ware called a vote on the overall bill. It also failed, 4-3.
Dr. Even Alexander, a New York Times best-selling author who has been featured on Oprah and Dr. Oz, was in town last week to promote his June 27 talk, "Proof of Heaven," at Glen Allen High School.
Alexander (pictured, at right, while Unity of Bon Air church member Harry Simmons interviews him) has written about what he considers to be his journey through the afterlife.
Tickets to this month's event are $25 and will support the new Bon Secours Hospice House being built later this year. > Read more.
The Innsbrook Rotary Club, which is celebrating its 25th year in 2015, has completed a number of volunteer projects this year and raised thousands of dollars for various organizations through three events.
The club's annual rose sale, benefit for youth live auction and Virginia Fire Games competition, combined with individual and corporate donations, have raised nearly $70,000 – money that the club contributes back to the community.
FeedMore is the beneficiary of the club's 25th anniversary project, which provides refrigerated trailers to be used for the distribution of food throughout Central Virginia. > Read more.
Chef Bryan Voltaggio will host a special three-course dinner event July 21-22 at his Willow Lawn Family Meal restaurant. The menu will consist of his favorite dishes and offer diners the chance to purchase a signed copy of his newly released book, HOME.
Voltaggio will attend and cook at each dinner, as well as share stories that inspired recipes for the book. > Read more.
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