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Despite having no rational reason to do so, the Commonwealth of Virginia has prohibited hunting on Sundays from time immemorial. Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday signed into law legislation to allow Sunday hunting. It’s been a long road to repeal the old blue law preventing hunting on the day of rest and an official ceremony is expected soon to note this accomplishment . . .

The successful, bipartisan effort was achieved by the NSSF-led Sunday Hunting Coalition which includes NRA, CSF, Cabela’s, Bass Pro and SCI, among other hunting, sportsmen’s and wildlife management organizations.

The legislation allows Sunday hunting on private land during designated hunting seasons by hunters who have the written permission of landowners. According to the NSSF’s Larry Keane, Virginia will see a more than $120 million annual direct economic benefit as the result of hunters going afield on Sundays.

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  1. “no reason to do so” isn’t really accurate. It used to be customary in many states to have businesses closed on Sundays….aka “Blue Laws”. I believe this was related to that. As times have changed, so have the laws. Good on a Democratic governor for signing this; common sense prevails (sometimes).

    • “Custom” is basically saying “we do it this way because we have done it this way” and is pretty much the opposite of reason.

      The real reason lies behind the custom and was religious… and has no place in the government telling people what they can or can’t do on a sunday.

      • Religion is often cited, especially with regard to alcohol sales, but religion hasn’t been what’s kept these laws is place where they still are. Some of it is just inertia, but the biggest factor with regard to business operations is restriction of competition.

        So-called blue laws favor the big established companies because they already have the sales volume to cover their costs and make money. For an upstart retailer, the story is different. Forcing them to close on Sundays was a way to deny their an additional day of the week to do business. In essence, all of their fixed overhead like rent, salaries, insurance, etc., any costs which are the same regardless of the store’s actual sales volume, would now have to be covered by just six business days per week instead of seven. That makes running the business approx. 17% more expensive right off the bat. Established companies with regular cash flow could deal with this, but start ups often couldn’t, which reduced competition and permitted established firms to raise prices to make up for being closed on Sunday.

        While we’re on it, the same goes for the 40 hour work week. Liberals will try to tell you to thank unions for you having your weekends free. Actually, it was big time commercial bakeries, trying to keep mom and pops out of the market, who got that passed and required overtime pay. Same economics as above: force the new competition to compete in an artificially high cost environment that favored big, established bakeries. That union, pro-little-guy narrative was as much a propaganda sham then as “for the children” is now.

    • Don’t be fooled. This is his token move. He is trying to push through a change in legislation (quietly) that would make unlocked but closed console storage illegal. Secured has been interpreted as a closed comtainer with no prpcision for locking. The dude is not for freedom, imo.

    • Connecticut Gov. Malloy well know for making CT the home of the “strictest gun control laws in the nation” is for Sunday hunting also. What gives?

  2. I feel this is a holdover from Virginia’s Blue Laws, which I’m old enough to remember. Stores in general, weren’t allowed to be open for business on Sundays. Even grocery stores.

    • Germany still has restrictive hours for shops. It ensures that clerks get a day off and keeps the folk from wasting their leisure time shopping. Hunting, though, is not a waste of leisure time.

      • Germany does not exactly have a truly secular government. It collects taxes on behalf of the churches from their adherents, for example, and public schools have obligatory religious classes.

  3. Wow.
    This last week has been pretty good for us.
    Washington, Oregon, idaho, California, and now Virginia.
    Terrific news.

  4. It’s a southern thing as a rule, those blue laws. Businesses, alcohol sales, hunting, etc. Church and sex with your wife, so long as you were married and not prone to violating any prohibitions aganist other than the missionary position, were about the only legal activities for sundays in blue law states.

  5. Woo hoo! Perhaps it had something to do with the deer running everywhere… I saw one in downtown richmond once I have no clue how she got there

  6. No, if only we could do the same thing in PA. Maybe we can even hope to hunt varmints with our semi auto rifles.

    • There are lots of varmints in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, but I don’t think you’re allowed to shoot them.

    • People always seem to say PA is better than Texas for gun rights, but I can buy a pistol without a permission slip and registration. We have legal suppressor hunting, tons of public land for hunting, no mag limits, and no caliber limits other than centerfire. We have shall issue, 8 hour max CHL class, and both governor candidates are arguing over who will pass open carry faster (for CHL’s, I know.) I know we aren’t the wild west yet, but Texans are working to bring it (with its historically low violent crime rates) back.

  7. Yes, but as a Virginian, McAwful still s _ _ _s. He’s a gun grabber, don’t let this little law make anyone think otherwise.

    • Exactly. He threw his lot in with Bloomberg when his lead got commanding enough. If the atmosphere turns his way, he and Mr. won-by-600-votes AG-I’ll-enforce-only-laws-I-like will do anything they can to make us into another Maryland. But I acknowledge T-Mac for signing this bill.

    • Yes he is and probably the only reason that McAuliffe signed it is because he hunts birds. Pure self interest. I saw him buy a pricey shotgun at a LGS a couple of years ago.

    • McAuliffe signed the bill because the only thing that liberal progressives hate more than guns is anything that has any Religious roots.

    • The other show dropped yesterday when the House of Delgates voted 70-30 to override an amendatory veto he thought he could put over on the general assembly that totally reversed the intent of a legal clarification of the old saddle bag law. There are a few minor improvements that would be nice for our firearms laws that won’t happen while he is governor but Virginia is as close to a Second Amendment heaven as you can get as it is right now. I can live with a stalemate for the next four years.

    • No, not pro-gun. Farmers and land owners have been trying to get this done for years because their land is overrun with deer. Under this new law, on Sunday you can only hunt your own land — which benefits those farmers — or someone else’s land with the owners’ permission.

      Some farmers had been granting permission for hunting on days other than Sunday because they couldn’t kill enough deer on their own to thin the herds. Now that they will get an extra day to hunt, I think that LESS permissions will be granted. So this bill is pro-farmer, but may end up anti-hunter.

  8. Hmm, this is a peculiar relic of certain strains of protestantism.

    It is interesting that in medieval ages and in Catholic thought, as well as the thought of most Anglicans and Reformed, hunting and fishing were allowed on Sundays as a matter of recreation (though they distinguished between “quiet hunting” and “clamorous hunting”, the latter being the sort of ostentatious hunting done by nobility, like fox hunting in England)

    And activity strictly necessary to procure food, etc was allowed too. So one wonders when and where the notion came to be that any games, recreation, etc, basically anything other than going to Church and being somber sitting at home came to be seen as violating the Lord’s day.

    • It has to do with the theologically erroneous notion that the Lord’s Day (Sunday) is the same as Sabbath (Friday PM-Saturday PM) with an ad hoc mix of barely-related restrictions. In short, weak theology informed social policy. If you’re a Christian, follow your Spirit-led conscience for the day. If you’re a heathen, do whatever you normally would do on a day off.

      Laws should be passed to stem gross immorality, not to enforce one group’s view on everyone else. It’s just too bad that the more harmless laws such as these are the only ones being rolled back on that basis…

      • Laws should be passed to prevent or punish harm. Immorality, gross or otherwise, is in the eye of the beholder, and the government has no business legislating it in a free state.

        • Morality provides the foundation that serves as the context for determining whether harm has occurred, particularly against society as a whole, as to what degree. It’s not as simple as saying focus on harm, ignore morality.

          Just to toss out an example, who’s harmed if two high school sweethearts have sex together on Prom Night? Who’s harmed if instead of high school sweeethearts, it’s a 50 year old high school history teacher and his 16 year old student? Same basic act, but different societal and legal responses, based on morality.

        • I know the answer to this one. The 50 yo teacher OD’s on viagra and has a heart attack trying to keep up with the 16 yo student. So he’s the one harmed.

    • Long ago in Queen Mary’s time they had to ban golf to get people back on the archery range. Perhaps Protestants had to ban hunting on Sundays to get people back into the sack? “Do it for the children!”

  9. When the Carolina Panthers became an NFL team, the “blue laws” were no alcohol sales prior to 1pm, or otherwise, until church let out….That “suddenly” changed to 12pm, when big $$$$ came to Charlotte, and the surrounding citiesthat benefited from the NFL coming to town….Than revenue from tailgaiting overcame such religious convictions,…

    The whole thing stinks of hypocrisy,,….. Virginia, west of the northern territory has an amazing normalcy, and a plan. Sadly Northern Va, has been assimilated by the Borg long ago….

  10. So did they arrest people there for fishing on Sunday or was it just the hunting of wild game with guns that was the big no-no? Being from Alabama, right in the middle of the Bible belt, a large part of the people don’t hunt or fish on Sunday but there is no law that stops those that wish to do so. I think we should be respectful of peoples religious beliefs even when that is no belief at all. Just don’t try to restrict me from practicing mine.

  11. I live in Ohio and while I greatly enjoy guns and shooting, i don’t care to hunt. Think it’s a positive thing, etc., it’s just not for me . My wife and I have been fortunate enough to own a fairly large piece of deer and turkey land, and any and all who ask are welcome to hunt. Recently leasing outfits have been trying to get us to sign up, not interested. My point here is: when Sunday hunting was not permitted, we personally liked it, because there was one day a week that we could walk, ride, or let our dogs run free, and feel a little less likely to be involved in an accident, or accidentally ruin some guys turkey or deer setup he had worked on all morning.just a different way of looking at it

    • That’s part of the Pennsylvania history. The ban made it safer to travel the country roads to church, and made poaching while the owner was not on his land more difficult as going about with guns, or the sound of gun shots, would arouse suspicion.

  12. Gee do you think I could have a Hot dog in Virginia on a Sunday or is that activity banned too.Wait,? Is Bloomberg there ? This sounds a lot like the ” No 32 oz surgery drink” law.How ( excuse the Sunday reference) on this God’s earth does the east let these politicians into power? I understand California cause they all came from the Liberal side of the East coast,and moved to the West for the weather.So they moved from Stupiderville to just plain Stupidville ,so they could relax and enjoy the weather.But Both coasts suffer from a rare disease that comes in off the Atlantic and the Pacific.Maybe you have heard of it? It’s called ; STUPID FOG!

  13. Fortunately, that is why we have a separation of church and state. Freedom of religion is all we get out of government, not legislature based around one religion or another’s “Sabbath”.

  14. First of all, with any question of religion, forget about what anybody says, what your grandparents did, what the prevailing winds are. Go directly to the source, the Word of God. In Deuteronomy you will find the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments. The Fourth Commandment enjoins us to keep the Seventh Day holy, as it is a Sabbath to God. In Revelation there are frequent requests to keep the Commandments of God and have the Testimony of Jesus.

    In every calendar I have seen, including the ancient Hebrew ones, the Seventh Day is a Saturday. There is no authority anywhere in the Bible to keep the Sabbath on a Sunday, which was the Pagan Day of the Sun. Constantine enforced Sunday worship to keep all the Pagans he “changed” to Christians happy in their weekly routine, and this was continued by the Catholic Church.

    This makes me wonder whether anyone in the mainstream churches has ever read the Bible. Even Martin Luther did not see this point.

    Therefore it is perfectly acceptable to go hunting on a Sunday, and should not offend anyone of a religious persuasion.


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