Minneapolis/ Politics & Govt
AI Assisted Icon
Published on February 24, 2024
Minnesota Lawmakers Push Ban on Lead Ammunition Over Health Concerns Amid Opposition from Sports LeagueSource: Minnesota State Senate

Minnesota lawmakers are aiming for lead-based ammunition, citing health risks. State Senator Jen McEwen (DFL-Duluth) and Representative Patty Acomb (DFL-Minnetonka) are leading the charge with a proposed ban, which has prompted pushback from the USA Clay Target League. The league argues such legislation could negatively affect youth sports, but McEwen stands firm, stressing the importance of safety in shooting sports.

The bill, identified as SF 3792/HF 3813, proposes a phased approach to outlaw lead in ammunition and fishing tackle. Senator McEwen, addressing the opposition, stated, "Lead exposure through ammunition poses a serious threat to human health, particularly for those involved in hunting, shooting sports, and firearm maintenance." The senator believes the growing popularity of these sports in Minnesota calls for a move to non-toxic options to keep participants, particularly children, out of harm's way.

Ongoing concerns about lead poisoning have been echoed by health authorities. The World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, and the National Institute for Infectious Disease all agree that no level of lead exposure is without risk. These warnings have played a substantial role in the decision by McEwen and Acomb to prioritize the issue during this legislative session.

The debate in Minnesota is part of a larger national conversation on the use of lead in sports and its environmental impact. Supporters of the bill argue that the health hazards linked to lead, warrant significant precaution, and there is a need for legislative action. Critics, however, worry about the availability and cost of alternative materials for young shooters and their sports programs. McEwen insists the legislation aims to find a balanced path forward, ensuring safety without breaking the bank. "I support keeping our kids safe as they take part in shooting sports, which is why I am dedicated to furthering legislative solutions to address this dire public and environmental health concern," she said.