New Bill Could Lift Ban On Sabbath Day Hunting
STATESVILLE, NC- For over a century, North Carolina hunters have hung up their guns on Sunday.
Alan Kerley is a hunter from Statesville who leaves North Carolina to take advantage of full weekends of hunting. He wants the Sunday shooting ban lifted.
"People working six days a week... Sunday may be the only day they get to do it and if people are needing the deer meat to feed their family, they're not getting to take advantage of that opportunity," said Kerley.
Since 1868, North Carolina has forbidden killing animals with guns on the Sabbath. The law puts it in line with 11 other states that ban or restrict Sunday hunting. A new bill makes Sunday fair game.
The republican senator who's sponsoring the bill hasn't had much luck in the past. A bill to lift the Sunday ban was sidelined back in 2009. Three similar bills failed in 2005. Something local pastors tell me they hope happens this time too.
"You honor the Lord's day. It is your day of rest, it is your day of worship," said Pastor Mack Mathis, interim pastor at Oakdale Baptist Church.
Mathis says allowing Sabbath Day shooting of animals would be a step in the wrong direction for the state.
"You need those values, you need those core beliefs and quite frankly... you're not going to get those in the woods," said Mathis.
But Kerley, who says he's also a christian, believes the benefits of Sunday hunting outweigh any risks.
"More deer are going to be harvested and that's going to help traffic issues with deer getting hit on the interstate," said Kerley.
Senate Bill 224 would allow hunting on private land with written permission from the land owner.