MT Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Admits Traditional Lead Shot Ammo is No Risk

MT Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Admits Traditional Lead Shot Ammo is No Risk
So, Why The Ammunition Ban?

National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Shooting Sports Foundation

NEWTOWN, Conn. – -( The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has admitted that its proposed ban on traditional shot in the state’s 72 state-owned wildlife management areas is nothing more than a “trial balloon” to see how sportsmen in the state will react.

The FWP proposal has drawn the ire of many groups, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry.

In a letter sent last week to FWP Director Joe Maurier, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane, stated, “The NSSF maintains that wildlife management policy must be based on science, not on popular opinion or political or symbolic gesture. The FWP has not provided any scientific evidence to support its proposed ban on traditional shot.”

A recent article in the Billings Gazette (“State proposed ban lead shot on some lands draws criticism,” January 20, 2010) quoted an FWP spokesman as saying “There’s nothing to suggest lead shot poses any risk to upland game bird species.”

The spokesman went on to say that “Montana’s tentative ban was proposed only to be consistent with the federal ban and other lead shot bans on certain tribal lands” and “there are no biological reasons to ban lead shot.”

NSSF has made clear that adoption of the proposed ban would be more likely to hurt state and local economies, rather than help wildlife in the Big Sky state. The proposed ban would force hunters to use steel shot or other more costly ammunition alternatives. This would make hunting more expensive and ultimately lead to a decline in hunters, hunter support and hunter generated income.

“In the end, the FWP’s proposal is an attempt to base wildlife management decisions on a popularity contest and not sound science,” said Keane.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to