- The Florida State Legislature has passed a resolution referring a question to 2024 voters on whether to establish a constitutional right to hunt and fish in the state.
- If passed, a 28th section would be added to the Declaration of Rights in the Florida Constitution to ensure the preservation of hunting and fishing as a public right, without limiting the powers of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to regulate hunting and fishing.
- Florida would become the 24th state to adopt a constitutional amendment creating a right to hunt and fish, subject to approval by at least 60 percent of voters.
Florida could become the 24th state to establish a constitutional right to hunt and fish in 2024 after the Florida State Legislature passed a resolution referring the question to voters.
The resolution would add a 28th section to the Declaration of Rights in the Florida Constitution to say that hunting and fishing are the preferred means for “responsibly managing and controlling fish and wildlife” and “shall be preserved forever as a public right.” The amendment would not limit the powers of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to regulate hunting and fishing.
Vermont was the first state to constitutionalize such a right in 1777. Since then, 22 states have adopted constitutional amendments creating a right to hunt and fish beginning with Alabama in 1996. The most recent amendment was on the 2020 ballot in Utah and was approved by 75% of voters. Voters in one state—Arizona—rejected a constitutional amendment in 2010.
The constitutional amendment was introduced into the Florida State Legislature as House Joint Resolution 1157 (HJR 1157) on February 24, 2023. The House approved the amendment on April 25, 2023, by a vote of 116-0. The Senate passed the amendment on April 28, 2023, by a vote of 38-1. The single no vote came from Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book (D).
State Rep. Lauren Melo (R) said, “Many people don’t realize the economic value fishing and hunting provides our great state, combining just over $15 billion annually. People come from all over the world to catch our tarpon and snapper, and chase our turkeys and ducks. Passing this legislation is a powerful statement that we support and champion our fishing and hunting traditions, and we want to protect (them) for our future.”
Constitutional amendments in Florida must be approved by 60% of voters to pass.
I would like to learn more about this.
It’s your constitutional right but .. you have to pay us for a license to do it.
What does this proposed constitutional amendment change?
What problem does it solve?
Is it just a feel good advertisement for outdoor sports? Do we need that in our constitution?
Will sustainable management of hunted resources may become more difficult if hunting is a ‘right’?
If hunting is a ‘right’ what level of judicial scrutiny will protect this right?
Will taxpayers pay the resource management bills instead of hunters?
What is the experience of other states?
Until these questions are answered I am voting no.
My only concern is bear hunting. I have yet to have one of my hunter friends tell me what bear tastes like, and I really like venison. I am totally opposed to trophy hunting any animal. It’s just an ego trip for insecure little men. I raise and eat my own beef.
This measure will protect citizens from extremists who wish to prevent hunters and fishermen from taking wild animals and fish. They think all meats come from Whole Foods. Those extremists have no idea how conservation works. They are miserable people who don’t have the courage to hunt in the woods. They are cowardly. They are probably afraid of shooting their own self. Haha
I support residents having a right to hunt and fish (under certain restrictions of course) but see it as a negative to remove a source of state income by extending it to visitors.
Now is not the time to take wild animals out of the ecosystem for any reason. The large scale seafood industry is decimating the ocean and the big ag is wiping out the wildlife habitat.