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Ted Nugent is a rock musician and an avid outdoorsmen and hunter. He currently serves as the spokesperson for Hunter Nation.
It seems like every time you turn on the TV there’s another bombshell ruling by the courts sending shockwaves across our country. But there is one big case currently brewing in Maine that you probably haven’t heard much about. This case, which could have a bigtime impact on the state’s economy, conservation efforts and outdoorsmen and women, deserves to be examined further.
This all started less than a year ago when voters in Maine overwhelmingly supported a change to the state’s Constitution that ensured every Mainer would have a “right to food.” The amendment laid out that all residents have an “unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing.”
What does that amendment really mean, though? Well, in plain talk, I believe it means that food shouldn’t be denied to anyone. After its passage, Mainers now have a constitutional right to grow, raise and harvest food to provide for their families.
All-in-all, the amendment seems pretty self-explanatory. Granting residents a clear constitutional right to harvest food shouldn’t be all that controversial, right?
Since this new amendment took hold, a group of concerned sportsmen filed a lawsuit contending their constitutional rights to harvesting food were being denied. How, you ask? Thanks solely to Maine’s archaic ban on Sunday hunting.
We know that hunters in Maine are plentiful and spend big bucks to harvest game. According to the most recent numbers from the Sportsman’s Alliance, more than 150,000 hunters contribute upwards of $307 million each year to the state’s economy. Imagine how much greater those figures might be if hunting were permitted on Sundays.
What should be a slam dunk of a court case for these concerned hunters has hit the most unexpected roadblock: Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey.
Recently, Frey intervened in this commonsense suit, using the most perplexing of arguments. In documents filed with the court, Frey argued that “hunting” does not equate to “harvesting.” As the top legal official in the entire state, I believe Frey is splitting hairs over the definition of “harvesting.” (There’s a reason I’m not a big fan of lawyers).
At the risk of being blunt, Frey’s argument is about as ripe as a pile of fresh moose scat. You and I both know that a constitutional right to food doesn’t really give a darn what day of the week it is. Constitutional rights apply 365 days a year, seven days a week – Sundays included!
Simply put, hunting is a key component in providing food for one’s family. As a right now protected by Maine’s Constitution, the attorney general should be fighting for expanded food access for his constituents, not against it.