NRA Opposes Iowa’s Lead Shot Ban
Chris Cox, Executive Director of NRA-ILA, has sent the following letter to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, expressing NRA’s opposition to a ban on the use of traditional ammunition for the state’s upcoming dove season.
July 18, 2011
The Honorable Terry Branstad
Governor of Iowa
1007 East Grand Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Dear Governor Branstad:
On behalf of tens of thousands of National Rifle Association members who live in Iowa and millions more throughout the rest of the country, I would like to thank you for your leadership and strong support of the Second Amendment and our hunting heritage. Unfortunately, some in your great state continue to attack our freedoms. I am writing to respectfully request your help in removing the traditional ammunition ban that the Natural Resources Commission set in place for the dove season.
Wildlife management must be based on wildlife population-level impacts substantiated by sound science. In this instance, no population-level impacts have been cited by the Commission, as they simply echo the unscientific battle cry of the anti-hunting extremists; that traditional ammunition is “bad.” Doves are the most popular and abundant game bird hunted in America with population levels at all-time highs. Traditional ammunition is used in the vast majority of states to hunt doves with no population-level impacts whatsoever.
In fact, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has put forward a resolution stating that “state agencies should focus regulation efforts where population-level impacts to wildlife are substantiated.” (AFWA - 2010 Lead Ammunition and Fishing Tackle Resolution) (emphasis added). Yet, your DNR Director, Roger Lande, has taken it upon himself to ignore population-level impact reasoning and good science, by adopting the “lead is bad” argument that the extremist Humane Society of the United States often puts forward in their attempts to deter hunting.
The Commission has taken a page straight out of the anti-hunting groups’ playbook to discourage hunting through traditional ammunition bans. Anti-conservation fanatics failed at the federal level after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected their lead-ban petition and have now placed their focus on Iowa by taking advantage of a fledgling hunting season. This traditional ammunition ban is designed to price hunters out of the market and keep them from taking part in traversing Iowa’s fields and forests after the historic dove hunting legislation that you signed into law this year. By taking this action, the Commission is blatantly subverting the will of the legislature, which thoroughly debated the lead issue and overwhelmingly rejected a ban on tradition ammunition.
This is the same posture the Commission took earlier this year when it attempted to ban the use of lead shot on numerous state and federal wildlife areas across Iowa, by stating that it would “begin limiting the use of lead for all hunting and fishing on all public areas.” We appreciate your help in resolving that matter and hope that you will speak up for the tens of thousands of sportsmen and NRA members who will be negatively impacted by this rule.
Again, the Commission does not cite any scientific studies showing population-level impacts from traditional ammunition. It has simply jumped in the political bed with anti-hunting extremists. Interestingly, the Iowa DNR has a section on its website titled “Get the Lead Out,” which has language eerily similar to the Center for Biological Diversity’s (CBD) “Get the Lead Out” campaign. CBD is the group that petitioned the EPA to ban all traditional ammunition in America.
We stand ready to work with you to address this serious problem that places a dark cloud over the sportsmen and women who define conservation in Iowa. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff at 703.267.1140 if you have any questions.
Chris W. Cox
Iowa Natural Resources Commission Bans Traditional Ammunition During Dove Season
Dove Hunting Ban Lifted In Iowa