New Mexico's Changes to Hunting Permits Unconstitutional?
Hunting outfitters from four western states; Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and Washington are taking the state of New Mexico to court over recent changes to the hunting permit system. New Mexico voters changed it to where more of the hunting permits would be alloted for state residents. Another push was to make 10% of the permits not available to hunters, except to those using a New Mexico outfitter. Thus creating the legal constitutionality of the matter. The team of outfitters are seeking an injunction and temporary restraining order from the law taking effect.
"Regulations that prohibit out-of-state residents from doing business in another state are clearly prohibited by the Commerce clause under well-established case law," the out-of-state outfitters said in their complaint.
The quota system was changed because residents were unhappy. Less than 80% of the permits were saved for residents of the state, which was the lowest number out of any of the Rocky Mountain states. With the new permit system 84% of the permits would be alloted for residents of the state. Jeremy Vesbach, director of the wildlife federation said the other state outfitters are not losing any constitutional rights to conduct business in the state. The out of state outfitters would just not be eligible for the "outfitter subsidy pool," the 10% of permits saved for hunters using New Mexico based outfitters. From The Seattle Times.