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The clash between hunting, hiking and holy days in North Carolina is rearing its head again.
A new bill moving through the state Senate, SB 224, co-sponsored by Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon, would remove a prohibition against Sunday hunting on private lands with shotgun, rifle or pistol, as long as the hunter is the landowner or has the landowner’s permission.
A companion bill in the House, HB 360, was introduced Thursday by four representatives including Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe.
North Carolina is one of only 11 states that bans hunting on Sunday. A bill in 2009 attempted to repeal the state’s ban, but it was shot down, with the exception of bow-hunting and falconry on private lands. The Sunday hunting ban has been on the books since 1869 as part of the blue laws that have roots in religious observance, much like the North Carolina ban on selling alcohol before noon on Sunday.
So what could make the state decide to overturn a 144-year-old blue law?
It turns out private property rights — and money — might trump the Sabbath.