If it’s not finally official, it’s at least inching in that direction.
After months of talking about it, Rep. Frank Farina on Tuesday announced plans to formally introduce legislation that would lift Pennsylvania’s prohibition against hunting on Sundays. Speaking at a press conference at the state capital in Harrisburg on Tuesday, the Lackawanna County Democrat said that while he has no formal timetable for advancing the bill, he wants to get the debate started.
Farina said opening Sundays to hunting is important to working adults, children busy with after-school activities and families.
“That extra day would mean a lot,” Farina said. “And the economic impact would be huge. And it would come at a time when Pennsylvania could certainly use the revenue.”
He also noted – for those who fear sharing the woods with hunters on Sundays – that any change in the law would be limited by practicality. His bill will not specify which Sundays must be open to Sunday hunting, or say that all must be.
Rather, it will give the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to include Sundays in seasons as it sees fit.
“A lot of people are under the misconception that it’s 52 Sundays. It’s not 52 Sundays. Most likely you’re looking at eight to 12 Sundays, probably,” Farina said at a press conference.
He was joined at that event by several other lawmakers who are co-sponsoring his bill: Marc Gergely and Bill Kortz of Allegheny County, Marty Flynn of Lackawanna and Ted Harhai of Westmoreland, who serves as minority chairman of the House of Representatives game and fisheries committee. All are also fellow Democrats.
Also attending were representatives of the National Rifle Association, Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, National Shooting Sports Foundation and others.
“Expanding Sunday hunting allows those who spend the week working, attending school, caring for their family or volunteering in the community to enjoy more time in the great outdoors,” said Chris Cox, NRA-ILA executive director. “America has an important hunting heritage and Pennsylvania’s sportsmen and women deserve to have the same opportunities as hunters in other states.”