Tomorrow, April 7, the Senate Committee on Judiciary will hear public testimony on Senate Bill 504, sponsored by state Senator Joshua Miller (D-28). S.504 is the companion bill to House Bill 5669, which was heard last week in a House committee and “held for further study.” S. 504 also seeks to ban the use of all lead ammunition and require the use of non-lead ammunition approved as “non-toxic” by the Director of the Department of Environmental Management.
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 Rhode Islanders are not mislead into adopting a ban that could significantly impact hunting in Rhode Island. There has been no sound scientific evidence stating that traditional ammunition is having a population-level impact on any species in Rhode Island, 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 ammunition would be disastrous for hunters and conservation because 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.
The committee will meet upon rise of the Senate in Room 313 of the Statehouse. Hunters and shooters are encouraged to attend in opposition to this anti-hunting bill. Please also contact members of the committee and politely ask them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 504. Contact information for committee members is provided below.
Senate Judiciary Committee:
Senator Stephen R. Archambault (D-22)
Senator William J. Conley, Jr (D-18)
Senator Mark W. Gee (R-35)
Senator Paul V. Jabour (D-5)
Senator Frank S. Lombardi (D-26)
Senator Erin P. Lynch (D-31)
Senator Michael J. McCaffrey (D-29)
Senator Harold M. Metts (D-6)
Senator Donna M. Nesselbush (D-15)
Senator Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-33)