Iowa Governor Strikes Down Ban on Lead Ammo

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad lifted a ban on lead ammunition for dove hunters, arguing that the law was made outside of the government’s authority.

The ban on lead shot was initially enacted by the National Resources Commission (NRC), a citizens panel appointed by none other than Gov. Branstad. He felt that the NRC overstepped its authority by making a law that should have been reserved for the legislative branch, adding “We need to make sure that we stop this practice of agencies going beyond what’s been delegated to them and their responsibility.”

A government official giving up power rather than trying to grab onto more of it? How refreshing.

Lead is a toxin that can poison humans or animals, though no studies have conclusively proven that animals killed by lead shot will hurt humans. It can have an adverse effect on local wildlife that eats the remains of these creatures, however. Environmentalists behind the Lead is Poison Coalition argue that Branstad is simply catering to a small group of hunters, whereas hunters are thrilled that they no longer need to use more expensive steel ammo. The rescinded ban is just in time for the upcoming dove season. 

Just in time for this year’s season, anyway. Branstad could have lifted the ban last year, but he chose to wait for the legislative branch to do it for him. After the measure was killed because it did not come up for a vote, Branstad took advantage of a provision in the Iowa Code and rescinded the measure.

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