Gov. Terry Branstad announced Friday that he will nullify the traditional ammunition ban in Iowa. In July 2011, the Iowa Natural Resources Commission (NRC) imposed the ban—after the topic was debated and resoundingly rejected by the legislature—following the enactment of the state’s first dove-hunting season since 1918. The NRC slipped in the ban on the use of all traditional ammunition while setting bag limits and other regulations with regard to the re-enacted Iowa dove-hunting season.
“The National Rifle Association would like to thank Governor Branstad for rescinding this ill-conceived scheme by the Iowa Natural Resources Commission,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “The NRC pandered to anti-hunting extremist groups and did their political bidding. They failed to cite a single credible scientific study to back up their baseless claims to support this ban. Today, thanks to the leadership of Governor Branstad and to the tireless efforts of Senator Dick Dearden, fairness, integrity and common-sense have been restored to this process.”
Traditional ammunition bans are financed by extremist anti-hunting groups—like the Humane Society of the United States and the Sierra Club under the guise of “conservation efforts.” The long-term goals of these groups are to try to eradicate hunting and firearm ownership. Their attempt to gain a foothold in Iowa, however, has been foiled.
Earlier this year, House Joint Resolution 2001, restoring the use of traditional ammunition, passed the Iowa House of Representatives by an overwhelming, bipartisan margin. The Senate companion, SJR2001, passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee on a bipartisan 9-3 vote. Despite broad bipartisan support and assurances, the Senate Majority Leader failed to call-up the resolution for a vote.
In rejecting the ban on Friday morning, Gov. Branstad said, “As you may know, the Senate adjourned without bringing up the resolution nullifying the NRC rule banning traditional shot. Today, I am exercising my legal power as governor and rescinding the ban on traditional shot by Executive Order. The determination of whether hunters should be forced to stop using traditional lead shot is the role of the legislature, not an unelected NRC.”
The commission’s earlier attempt at a traditional ammunition ban was also defeated with Branstad’s help in 2011.