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Sportsman Outdoors

Lead ammo could be banned

By Jack Danchak
Posted 6/11/21

A bill that would ban the use of lead-based ammunition on New York state lands where hunting is allowed is now working its way through the NY Assembly and Senate, despite disapproval of some …

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Sportsman Outdoors

Lead ammo could be banned

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A bill that would ban the use of lead-based ammunition on New York state lands where hunting is allowed is now working its way through the NY Assembly and Senate, despite disapproval of some sportsmen’s groups, lawmakers and others. The bill was recently approved by a 21-9 vote by the Environmental Conservation Committee, if passed by the Assembly and Senate, would take effect in 2023. The bill would prohibit the use of lead ammunition in the taking of wildlife on wildlife management areas, state forests, forest preserves, state parks or any other state-owned land that is open for hunting including land contributing surface water to the New York City water supply. A memorandum of justification stated that the purpose of the bill is to curb the toxic effects of lead on the environment, people and wildlife. Although lead has been taken out of many products over the past few decades, such as paint and gasoline, lead is still the most common material used in hunting ammunition. When a lead bullet strikes an animal, the round fragments into many small pieces not all of which are easily detectable by the naked eye. These fragments can then be consumed by humans who eat the meat of the animal. The bill has its share of people that disapprove of it including the New York State Conservation Council, which said while the bill may be well-meaning, it is deeply flawed, not based on sound science, it will also make ammunition even more expensive and scarce, and will discourage potential new hunters from going afield. Council President Chuck Parker said, “Many of our membership never want to see any ban on lead ammo. If there is going to be a further restriction on using lead ammo, make sure the alternative is available and in place before you enact such a bill and this bill is not doing that.” Parker went on to say, “Looking at what has happened to date through the DEC educational effort over the past five years on the use of non-lead ammo, it gives this well-intended bill the appearance of just another anti-hunter/hunting bill. It is important to get this right the first time and this bill does not do that.” Kirk Harrington a sales associate with an upstate NY gun shop said, “Ammunition is almost non-existent now, most of our inventory is gone, customers bought it up. We don’t carry a lot of lead-free ammo and there is not much available for us to purchase. This bill is going to put a damper on hunting spirits.” Some New York lawmakers believe the legislation sends the exact wrong message at a time when the state is trying to encourage more people to take up hunting. Taking 4.8 million acres of state hunting lands off the table definitely sends the wrong message. jack danchak is a longtime sportsmen and spent 30 years as the President of the Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County, Inc.

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