Assembly Bill A2084A (active currently for the 2023-2024 legislative session) prevents the use of lead ammunition in the taking of wildlife on state-owned lands and on lands contributing surface water to the New York City water supply. This bill has recently been amended to include updating the annual syllabus (NYDEC hunting regulations book) to include language of this bill. A similar bill (S4976A) has been in introduced the NY Senate and has been recognized as the same bill. Now is the time to speak up and urge your State legislators to prevent this well-intentioned, but misguided bill from reaching the Governor's desk.
While BHA encourages sportsmen and women to consider the voluntary use
of non-lead ammunition, our experiences in other states show that high-percentage of hunters making the transition did so as the result of hunter education. If you want to change behavior, you need buy-in from the people affected. In this case, that's the hunting community.
In contrast, a ban could lead to negative hunter interactions with Rangers and ECOs, who are already stretched thin, and it would be difficult to enforce in the field given the look of polymer-tipped copper-jacketed lead bullets.
A ban would also likely hurt rural communities most, where access to non-lead alternatives is minimal, and comes at a premium price-point. Further, this might affect many of us out there hunting for our own food, and may effect the numbers of us that head afield. In short, this potential law could affect those of us who can least afford it the most.
In addition, and as an important facet to the discussion, a DEC workgroup is currently engaged on this very topic, and should be allowed to finish their work prior to any statutory enactment, so that any policy decisions, if necessary, are based in science. Legislative impatience with a science-driven report is no reason to create law.
Thanks for everything you do to support public lands, waters and wildlife!
- The NY BHA Board