Hunting and the Second Amendment

Via Bitter:

A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit by a hunters’ group that had challenged Pennsylvania’s long-standing ban on Sunday hunting, saying she saw no proof the hunters’ constitutionally protected rights were being harmed.

While I think it should be beyond the power of the government to ban hunting (at this time I’m not going to argue about regulation of hunting) I really have to squint to see the Second Amendment protecting hunting. I think it probably is the correct decision.

I think this is something we really can and should use to our advantage. We frequently hear that the anti-gun people don’t want to take our hunting guns away. Now, if they say that, we have a very powerful argument against them taking non-hunting guns.

Since the Second Amendment doesn’t protect hunting, and it is an individual right, then the Second Amendment must be to protect non-hunting firearm ownership. If not then the Second Amendment has been defined into meaninglessness.

With the evidence we have for the Second Amendment protecting firearms having a military purpose we now can insist the Second Amendment protects AK-47’s, AR-15’s, M-16’s, 50 BMG’s, and any other militia small arms.


6 thoughts on “Hunting and the Second Amendment

  1. Omit the word “small” and I agree.

    Hunting on private land is properly between hunter and land owner unless it impinges on the rights of an adjacent land owner. Government does not properly own land, or game, and so it would have no say regarding hunting.

    All that being said, the typical hunting rifle is in fact a sniper rifle, depending on the intent of the user, and as such it is a militia arm as surely as if it were a standard, current, military-issue piece. Hunting and sniping are functionally identical in all respects, with the one difference being the specific nature of the target. U.S. Verses Miller, IIRC, hit upon this point regarding a sawed-off shotgun, ruling incorrectly (and maliciously) that such an item was not protected under the second amendment because it had no militia use. Aside from the fact that shotguns had by then been issued and used in our military, ANY weapon has, or can have, a militia application. A shovel is another example, as it has been used effectively as a combat weapon in war. I also recall one W.W. II concentration camp attendant/flunky who met his demise at shovelpoint after most of his comrades abandoned the place and the inmates took the initiative (the Geneva Convention having been silent up to that point regarding shovels).

    So long as we have enemies of the state (which is to say, for the sake of clarity; enemies of the American Founding Principles of Liberty) in the Supreme Court and in other places of authority however, these matters of truth are largely academic. Still, they must be addressed if only for posterity.

  2. Pingback: More: 2nd Amendment protects stuff 'that only belongs on a battlefield'. Hunting, not so much. | The Gun Feed

  3. The US Constitution clearly has nothing to say about this. The only part that’s relevant to the question is the 10th amendment, and since regulating hunting isn’t a power denied to the states, it belongs to the states.
    Now, if the question were about “federal lands”, that’s a different story. Given that we’re talking Pennsylvania, I assume that’s not the case. Out west, it probably would be. “Federal lands” as they are found mostly west of the Mississippi are grossly unconstitutional: the Constitution specifically says how, and for what purpose, the Federal government may come to own real estate. And while that restriction is moderately well adhered to in the East, it is trampled all over the West.

  4. The founders probably figured if they needed to spell out in anal detail which rights we have that should be protected, then our gov’t has already become too much of a rapacious beast, gobbling up any little morsel of civil rights it can target and take. The idea, in our founders’ minds, that hunting could be prohibited might well seem like the idea that bears be prohibited from pooping in the woods.

  5. Odysseus —

    Actually, our Founders explicitly said that the more specific they got in ennumerating rights, the more rights that would be considered meaningless and unprotected because they weren;t specifically mentioned.

    That was the whole argument AGAINST the Bill of Rights in the first place.

  6. They chose the wrong argument and hence the wrong Amendment to the Constitution. What is the purpose of restricting Sunday hunting? It would appear that restricting any particular activity from Sunday with the force of law is to enforce non-interference with attending a Christian related church and Christian-orientated activities. Otherwise, Friday or Saturday bans on hunting could have been outlawed as those days would conflict with the “days of rest” of other religions. Banning hunting on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday could have been selected by the Pennsylvania Legislature, but that would have been non-sensible as it would serve no purpose. Many would argue that First Amendment’s prohibition on the establishment of religion refers to a particular denomination receiving government support, for example the Church of England vs. Baptists in Virginia or the Congregational Church vs. the Church of England and others in Massachusetts, but in this instance it can refer to establishment of a class of religions that use a Sunday day of rest and organized worship as opposed to other religions that use other days for the same purposes.'s_Chapel

    “The disposition was the action taken against the person by the Massachusetts court. Many individuals were disarmed, meaning they were ordered to turn in all of their weapons to the authorities. This was a serious action because by law adult men were required to carry a weapon to all public meetings and gatherings.”

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