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Va. Senate Committee Votes to End Sunday Hunting Ban

Bill advances to Senate




    In Virginia, Sunday has always been a day of rest -- for hunters.

    It's a blue law from way back but a Virginia General Assembly Senate committee just approved a bill to repeal the ban -- a bill that's gotten bottled up in past sessions.

    But this week, the Senate Agriculture, Conservations & Natural Resources Committee passed a measure (11-4) to permit Sunday hunting on private land. It was related to a bill sponsored by Fairfax City Democratic State Senator Chap Petersen, which proposed the "private land" idea that was folded into the measure.

    A Petersen staffer said the hearing on the bill produced some strange alliances -- foxhunters, animal activists & bird watchers joined the Farm Bureau in opposing a repeal of the ban. Outdoorsmen and women and civil libertarians united in favor of Sunday hunting.

    "We've designated hunting and fishing as a constitutional freedom in Virginia," Said Sen. Petersen, "how can you restrict hunting one day of the week?"

    Gov. Bob McDonnell and the Virginia Department of Inland Game & Fisheries also support the repeal. Virginia is one of 11 states that restrict or ban hunting on Sunday.

    The bill will now head to the full Senate for a vote.