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Hagan to lead sportsmen caucus as gun control issue heats up

With gun enthusiasts leaning on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan to take a more definitive position on gun control, Hagan announced Tuesday that she has been named co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.

Hagan will co-chair the committee with Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota. Hagan had previously been vice chair of the group that has 300 members.

“North Carolina is among the best places to hunt and fish in the country and I'm honored to continue to protect our rich outdoor heritage as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus,'' Hagan said in a statement.

“I grew up in a family of lifelong hunters, and some of my favorite activities are hiking and fishing with my family across our state,” Hagan wrote.

More angling for votes

A Congressman is also angling for the sportsman vote.

In a guest column in The Leland Tribune, U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre notes that October is the start of hunting and fishing season.

As a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, he notes that outdoor activities get Americans "off their couches and into the fresh air," reinforce conservation efforts and contribute more than $250 billion to the national economy, directly and indirectly.

Outdoor activities reinforce values of respect and environmental stewardship that help build strong communities, families, and characters.

McIntyre does mention some legislation, however. He notes that he voted for the U.S. Department of the Interior budget for 2008, which will provide $451 million for wildlife refuges.

The bill passed the House on a 272-155 vote in June.

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