ST. PAUL – State Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, has authored a bill that would prohibit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources from further restricting the use of lead shot in the state.
The bill is in response to the DNR proposing to prohibit lead shot from being used on hundreds of thousands of acres of public land in what is known as the "farmland zone" of our state. Swedzinski’s bill is a reiteration of legislation which passed the House 80-48 last year but did not receive a vote in the Senate.
“This is just another push from extreme environmentalists who appear to be inching toward a complete ban on lead shot,” Swedzinski said. “Small-game hunters are concerned about the big picture of what the DNR is proposing, and for good reason. Their proposed ban in the farmland zone would impact an enormous number of other acres without sound science to support the move.”
State law already prohibits the use of lead shot for waterfowl over bodies of water and wetlands. The farmland zone the DNR proposes expanding to include roughly lies south of the Interstate 94 corridor, stretching from the Wisconsin border near Pine City to the northwest corner of Minnesota.
Previous attempts at banning lead shot have come before the Legislature and failed to pass. Swedzinski said that is proof the system is working.
“The DNR would be circumventing due process in making law by unilaterally setting this regulation,” Swedzinski said. “This is a Second Amendment issue and the public deserves a chance to participate in the process instead of St. Paul bureaucrats playing to their own agenda.”