The Minnesota Chapter of the Wildlife Society recently held a panel discussion in Bemidji to discuss banning the use of lead ammunition for hunting. The panelists included researchers, state Department of Natural Resources personnel, and representatives of various non-profit organizations. Numerous comments were made by some Minnesota Department of Natural Resources personnel expressing their belief that using lead ammunition for hunting should not be allowed. This should concern Minnesota hunters greatly.
We need your help NOW. To preserve our traditional hunting heritage in Minnesota, the National Rifle Association asks all hunters, recreational shooters, gun owners, and true conservationists to oppose a ban on lead ammunition for hunting. Contact the Minnesota DNR and tell them that you oppose any attempt to ban lead ammunition for hunting.
In 2007, the first hastily-enacted ban on lead ammunition (Assembly Bill (AB) 821) for game hunting was passed in California. It banned the use of lead ammunition for hunting game in the California condor habitat (aka the “condor zone”). Despite the California Department of Fish & Wildlife’s acknowledgment that 99% of hunters are complying with the lead ammunition ban in the “condor zone” since the law took effect, the rate of condor lead poisoning and mortality actually increased since 2007! This failure to reduce condor blood-lead levels, poisoning and mortality suggests that lead ammunition used for hunting was not the source of lead poisoning of condors.
Nonetheless, California recently passed AB 711 expanding AB 821, and lead ammunition ban proponents now cite to the California law to support the expansion of their campaign into Minnesota. In California, AB 711 will expand the lead ammunition ban by 2019 for all hunting throughout California. Anti-lead ammunition advocacy groups claim that the passage of this California law is evidence for the need to ban lead ammunition throughout the U.S.
In California, these groups first used faulty science, scare tactics, and political demagoguery to claim that lead ammunition from hunting was a threat to the California condor. When they realized that these tactics were not getting enough political traction, they expanded their claims to incredibly assert that using lead ammunition for hunting is a significant threat to human health as well, which is simply not true.
They hope that Minnesota is next in line to ban traditional ammunition. Some of these California lead ammunition ban proponents are using the same questionable science and scare tactics to claim that hunters’ lead ammunition presents serious health risk threats to the Bald Eagle, Minnesota hunters and their families. Lead ammunition ban proponents will not stop until Minnesota becomes the next state to ban lead ammunition for all hunting, or until you stop them!
Please forward this alert to your family, friends, fellow sportsmen, conservationists and gun owners throughout Minnesota and ask them to do the same. Contact information for the Minnesota DNR can be found here.
Learn the facts and real truth behind the all out assault on lead ammunition throughout the United States. The anti-lead ammunition advocates want to ban all lead ammunition both at ranges and in the field, and they want to ban all hunting. One of the primary sponsors of the state-wide lead ammunition ban in California has said: “We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States. We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state.” (Humane Society of the United States President and CEO Wayne Pacelle) They have “temporarily” accomplished the California part, don’t let Minnesota be next!
Lead ammunition ban proponents claim there is “safe” alternative ammunition (non-lead) available. But the truth is that ammunition made with alternative metals such as copper are not the safest. Advocates of lead ammunition bans routinely ignore the serious environmental consequences from copper, tungsten and other metals used in alternative ammunition. Alternative ammunition containing bismuth, tungsten or copper coated steel all present environmental concerns. Bismuth leaches into the soil and groundwater and interferes with soil bacteria. Tungsten, which is transformed to a soluble form by oxygen, accumulates in the spleen of wildlife and can cause immune system disorders. Steel shot does not perform as well as lead on game, leading to higher numbers of crippled game left to bleed-out and die in the field. Even copper is toxic under certain circumstances. Consequently, traditional ammunition containing lead is still the best, most economical and safest ammunition available.
Contrary to the disparaging claims against hunters by the lead ammunition ban and anti-hunting groups, hunters are the true conservationists. Hunters pay fees and taxes at both the state and federal level. On the state level, hunters pay for license fees and game tags. This money is used by the state fish and wildlife agencies to fund their administration, programs, and projects. State agencies also receive federal funds from the Pittman-Robertson Act, through excise taxes placed on firearms and ammunition. Federal agencies receive revenue from the sale of Duck Stamps, required for waterfowl hunting. This funding goes to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to help fund land acquisitions for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Additionally, both USFWS and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) can charge hunters a fee for hunting on wildlife refuge and national forest lands. This revenue almost entirely covers the costs of administering hunting programs by USFWS and USFS.
In addition to funding conservation measures, in the field, hunters help Fish and Wildlife Departments with wildlife counts, suggest enhancements for better game management, and assist with monitoring and apprehending poachers and others harming the environment. In short, do not be mislead by these so-called environmental groups that push their extremist agendas against lead ammunition and hunting.
To stay up to date on the lead ammunition debate, visit NRA-ILA and subscribe at HuntForTruth.org to find out the truth regarding lead ammunition, and exposing the misinformation being spread by the lead ammunition ban and anti-hunting proponents in their campaign to ban lead ammunition and hunting.