What progress has been made on gun law reform in state legislatures this year? Here is a summary of enacted state legislation related to Second Amendment rights.
Constitutional amendments. The most important enactments are those which amend a state’s constitution, as they are the highest expression of the people’s will. During the last half-century, the people of about two dozen states amended their constitutions to add or strengthen protection of the right to keep and bear arms; these amendments showed that the people view the right to arms as important for modern times. Protection of the right to hunt and fish first appeared in the Founding Era, in the Vermont constitution. Today, 18 state constitutions give express protection to the right. In November 2015, the people of Texas will vote on a right to hunt amendment which has been referred to the people the state legislature. The proposed Texas amendment provides:
“(a) The people have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, including by the use of traditional methods, subject to laws or regulations to conserve and manage wildlife and preserve the future of hunting and fishing.
(b) Hunting and fishing are preferred methods of managing and controlling wildlife.
(c) This section does not affect any provision of law relating to trespass, property rights, or eminent domain.
(d) This section does not affect the power of the legislature to authorize a municipality to regulate the discharge of a weapon in a populated area in the interest of public safety.”