Last week, an anti-hunting bill aimed at banning the use of lead shot while hunting was introduced in the Minnesota Legislature. House File 1274 would significantly alter the face of hunting in Minnesota.
As we have seen with attempts to ban the use of lead ammunition in other states, arguments in favor of these bans are based on faulty science. It is important to fully understand the facts concerning traditional hunting ammunition so Minnesotans are not mislead into adopting a ban that could significantly impact hunting in Minnesota. There has been no sound scientific evidence stating that traditional ammunition is having a population-level impact on any species in Minnesota, which is how wildlife is managed. Additionally, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in North Dakota to address blood lead levels in hunters and their families did not find a health risk for those who consume wild game taken with lead ammunition.
A ban on lead shot would be disastrous for hunters and conservation as alternatives are significantly more expensive. Hunters and target shooters are the largest supporters of federal conservation efforts through excise taxes levied on ammunition and firearms, and an increase in the cost of ammunition would reduce ammunition sales, affecting funding for vital conservation programs. Since 1937, hunters and target shooters have contributed more than 7.2 billion dollars through the Pittman-Robertson Act for the benefit of all wildlife species.
Proponents of HF 1274 are using the same questionable science and scare tactics that have been employed in other states to claim that hunters’ lead shot presents serious health risk threats to the bald eagle and Minnesota hunters and their families. Lead ammunition ban proponents will not stop until Minnesota becomes the next state to ban all lead ammunition for all hunting unless you stop them!
HF 1274 has been referred to the House Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee, where it is awaiting a hearing date. Your NRA-ILA will keep you updated on this issue.