August 25, 2011
NSSF Submits LTE to Des Moines Register re. Traditional Ammunition
The Des Moines Register
P.O. Box 957
Des Moines, IA 50306-0957
To the Editor:
Banning all traditional shot (lead shot) as the Des Moines Register advocates is a solution in search of a problem (“This isn’t a Second Amendment Issue,” August 23, 2011). Hunters are the original conservationists and wildlife’s greatest champions. If traditional shot posed an adverse impact on wildlife populations, the environment or human health, we would be the first in line to ensure reasonable measures were taken to address the concern. Fortunately, the science is not there.
Iowa, like every other state in the union, should be more concerned about the economic ramifications of needlessly banning traditional ammunition. Such a ban would harm small business owners throughout the state as more sportsmen are forced to give up hunting because they are unable to pay up to four or five times more for alternative ammunition, particularly for the exotic materials required to avoid damage to older shotguns. Those hunters also won’t be buying gas, staying in motels or eating at diners and restaurants. This translates into fewer jobs and less tax revenue to the state.
Banning traditional ammunition will also hurt wildlife conservation efforts because the conservation dollars generated from the sale of ammunition will be reduced and revenue from the sale of hunting licenses will decline as fewer hunters take to the field. In 2011 Iowa received more than $6.3 million dollars from hunter-generated excise taxes. This critical revenue stream, upon which the Department of Fish and Game depends, is the source of wildlife conservation funding.
Absent sound scientific evidence demonstrating a human, environmental or wildlife population impact arising from the use of traditional ammunition, there is no justification for banning its use. Doing so will hurt business owners, sportsmen and wildlife.
Stephen L. Sanetti
President and Chief Executive Officer
National Shooting Sports Foundation