Today, NRA members and Second Amendment supporters from the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus rallied to contact their state Representatives and defeat a proposed lead ammunition ban amendment on the House floor. As reported earlier, state Representative Rick Hansen (DFL-52A) proposed an amendment which sought to impose a ban on lead shot ammunition. The amendment was voted down by a 44-84 vote. However, this amendment could be proposed again as early as next week.
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 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.