House Floor Vote / May 14, 2018

HF 3421: Amendment to reinstate the DNR’s authority to reduce lead ammunition usage

In 2017, Minnesota’s State Legislature required the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to prepare a study quantifying the amount of lead shot ammunition deposited by hunters on state lands. Lead is a known toxin that can poison wildlife when it is eaten, and there is no safe level of lead in humans.

Lead ammunition has been banned for waterfowl hunting in Minnesota since 1987, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife banned the use of lead ammunition while waterfowl hunting in 1991. Since that time, numerous non-toxic ammunition alternatives have been developed and technology has improved so that non-toxic ammunition is just as effective and similarly priced as traditional lead ammunition.

In the last few years, the DNR recognized the toxicity that lead poses when deposited by hunters, and the agency started publicly discussing disallowing lead ammunition on some state lands. The Minnesota Legislature reacted to this discussion by enacting a new law that forbids the DNR from taking action on lead ammunition until July 2019. In the meantime, as mentioned earlier, the Minnesota Legislature required the DNR to prepare a study to understand more information about exactly how much lead ammunition was being deposited on state lands.

The lead ammunition report was published February 21, 2018. The DNR found that roughly 44% of the hunters interviewed were using lead ammunition while hunting on state lands. Most hunters were primarily targeting pheasants. Extrapolating the results, the DNR estimates that 178 tons (approximately 357,048 pounds) of lead were deposited on state lands in the farmland zone during the 2017 small game hunting season.

During Minnesota’s 2018 legislative session, an amendment was offered in the House of Representatives to repeal the statute that forbids the DNR from taking action to address lead ammunition on state lands.

The House did not pass this amendment with 43 “Yes” votes and 83 “No” votes.

If you would like to let your representative know what you think of this vote, you can send them a quick note by clicking HERE.

What Would Happen?

A "Yes" vote would restore the DNR's ability to take action to reduce the use of lead ammunition on state lands.

A "No" vote would continue to prohibit the DNR from taking any action to reduce the use of lead ammunition on state lands.

How The House Voted

A "No" vote would continue to prohibit the DNR from taking any action to reduce the use of lead ammunition on state lands.

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How The House Voted On This Issue

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