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Bill takes aim at potential lead shot ban

The Department of Natural Resources would be prohibited from adopting rules that further restrict the use of lead shot under provisions of a bill passed 80-48 by the House Wednesday.

Sponsored by Rep. Tom Hackbarth (R-Cedar), HF3209 would head off a DNR proposal to ban lead shot on wildlife management areas in certain parts of the state. The bill now heads to the Senate where it is sponsored by Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria).

Hackbarth said the bill is needed to prohibit the DNR from doing things without input from the Legislature.

“I think the citizens of this state think [the DNR] should be going through the Legislature rather than using their authority to put a ban in place,” Hackbarth said.

Opponents of the proposed shot ban say there’s no scientific evidence that lead shot harms wildlife populations, as a whole, and are concerned a ban would make hunting more expensive. 

Supporters believe the accumulation of lead on these public wildlife management areas will have harmful long-term consequences.

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