Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Rethinking Georgia Amendment II AGAIN

It's interesting that this amendment that sort of simmered all summer long is suddenly getting people fired up.

I admit when I wrote Amendment II could cause a constitutional log jam if a local municipality passed an anti-hunting ordinance it was based on my memories of such things as non-hunting bird sanctuaries. I believed that there was certain leeways in the state regulations that allowed cities to pass certain type of bans on hunting. Fortunately, I have readers who will correct me. And in this case I was wrong.

The law was changed in 2001. Here is the relevant section.

No political subdivision of the state may regulate hunting, trapping, or fishing by local ordinance; provided, however, that a local government shall not be prohibited from exercising its management rights over real property owned or leased by it for purposes of prohibiting hunting, fishing, or trapping upon the property or for purposes of setting times when access to the property for purposes of hunting, fishing, or trapping in accordance with this title may be permitted. Nothing contained in this Code section shall prohibit municipalities or counties, by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, from reasonably limiting or prohibiting the discharge of firearms within the boundaries of the political subdivision for purposes of public safety. ~O.C.G.A. 27-1-3

So both Mike King and I were wrong. Hunting is the sole domain of the state. This amendment would do nothing to change that.

I'm still voting no. This is amendment is still badly written and wholly unnecessary. Few things cause more mischief than unneeded and vague additions to the highest law in our state.

Pro-amendment II people think I'm still nuts? Write and let me know why.

UPDATE: Former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Tanner supports Amendment II. Mr. Tanner is someone that I respect. I feel myself being pulled back up on the fence again.

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