Yesterday's hearing on lead ammo reinforced everything we were expecting.
While the hearing subject was listed as "Lead Ammunition Survey" there is no doubt that what will be coming down the road is an attempt to ban lead ammo.
If some of the more extreme anti-hunting activists have their way, the ban will be on all lead ammo, not just ammo used in hunting.
While the representatives from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife did not call for an outright ban, others who came to testify made it clear that that was their goal.
Myra Finkelstein of the Department of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, University of California, and Debra Scheafer of the Audubon Society of Portland both called for a complete elimination of lead ammo. But while their "science" was obviously agenda driven, one comment by Finkelstein was particularly telling.
Let's leave aside their questionable knowledge of ballistics for a moment.
Finkelstein noted that a voluntary ban on lead ammo for hunting in Arizona had been "incredibly successful" in terms of its very high compliance rate, but that it didn't work!
It's pretty clear that when a "scientist" promotes a program that has failed elsewhere, she has an agenda that's a little different than advertised.
Oregon Firearms was joined by Dan Reid of the NRA and Stan Steele of the Oregon Outdoor Council who did an excellent job highlighting the holes in the anti-hunters' testimony.
Brad Witt, the Chairman of the committee asked some interesting questions that clarified that the testimony of the "fragmenting bullets" was dubious at best. Vice Chair Sal Esquival pointed out that when he weighed the bullets from an elk he shot, they all weighted exactly the same as when they were fired, again adding to the doubt of fragmenting bullet theory.
Also pointed out was that California's ban on lead ammo has coincided with an increase in lead levels in condors! As you would expect from California, they are now expanding that ban!
Coincidentally, NSSF today released a report "demonstrating the negative effects that the State of California's ban on the use of traditional lead ammunition in hunting will have on hunters, the state's economy and wildlife conservation."
That report is available here.
The hysteria around lead ammo is interesting considering the massive amounts of lead used and left behind by people other than hunters.
There is little doubt that the real agenda is against hunting and gun owners and has nothing to do with saving scavengers.
You can see a video of the hearing by using this link. You will want to scroll down to "House Interim Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources 2014-09-16 2:00 PM"
From there you can go directly to the part of the hearing dealing with lead ammo by clicking on the tab that says "Lead Ammunition Survey - Informational Meeting".
Chairman Witt and Vice Chair Esquival (both of whom are hunters and gun rights supporters) commented on the large number of emails they received on this issue. For all who took time to write, thank you for your activism and thank you to everyone who took time to come to the hearing, especially the large contingent from our friends at Oathkeepers. Rest assured your presence made an impact.