Research Article

The Constitutional Right to Hunt
New Recognition of an Old Liberty in Virginia


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The Constitution of Virginia was amended in 2001 to provide: “The people have a right to hunt, fish, and harvest game, subject to such regulations and restrictions as the General Assembly may prescribe by general law.” Currently, ten states recognize hunting as a constitutional guarantee, and proposed amendments are pending in other states. The oldest, dating back to the American Revolution, sought to guard against royal privilege as practiced in England, while the newest, adopted in recent decades, seek to preempt hunting bans sought by “animal rights” zealots.


Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., J.D., is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of the books, Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and “Enemies of the State”, The Founders' Second Amendment and Securing Civil Rights, the latter two of which were cited in the the U.S. Supreme Court cases of District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago as well as his earlier Amici Curiae Brief in Heller on behalf of 55 members of the Senate, the Senate President, and 250 members of the House of Representatives. Dr. Halbrook is also the author of the book, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Independent Institute).


  New from Stephen P. Halbrook!
GUN CONTROL IN THE THIRD REICH: Disarming the Jews and “Enemies of the State”
Presents the definitive history of how the Nazi regime used gun control to disarm and repress its enemies and consolidate power. Previous books on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust fail even to mention the laws restricting firearms ownership, which rendered Jews, political opponents, and other disfavored groups defenseless.