Science

Authenticated scientific studies should sustain the standard for new or revised fish and game policies and regulations. The rewards of winning a policy debate can often result in considerable control over land, money, and political currency, especially when it is understood that constitutional rights, in this case Second Amendment rights, can be adversely affected by overly-restrictive fish and game regulations. Given the residual impact, the potential for politicizing scientific results can become formidable.

The current debate regarding public and private land management practices, including the future of hunting and recreational shooting with traditional ammunition consisting of lead components, primarily involves scientific research presented during the policy formulation process.

The policy process occurs in stages including when policies are being formulated, drafted, and implemented into laws and regulations. This process also includes a legislative phase and a regulation promulgation phase of policy making, combined with any “behind the scenes” negotiations between factions of stakeholders that are commonly involved in these first two formative phases.

A third phase, the judicial phase, carries distinctly different aspects that are best discussed by legal scholars in order to appreciate the complications that otherwise appear to be a seemingly interminable extension of each policy battle.

It is under this complex regulatory matrix that the importance of critically evaluating the science used to justify regulations adversely affecting hunting and recreational shooting with lead ammunition becomes more apparent. Thus, policymakers must receive the most objectively derived science available in order to make policy decisions and implement regulations.

In the current campaign against the use of traditional ammunition, there is increasing evidence that an aggregate of political agendas has become more of an influence in the move to ban lead ammunition. It is with this campaign in mind that a thorough review of the applicable scientific studies must occur. Specifically, the underlying “original” data and other public documents need to be critically evaluated to determine whether researchers were truly objective in their approach, methodology, analysis and conclusions in support of AB 711.

The debate regarding the traditional ammunition and the alleged scientific justification to ban the use of lead ammunition for hunting and recreational shooting is summarized in five primary categories:

Hunt for Truth has engaged the expertise of environmental scientists and specialists to investigate and research these critical issues to uncover the true information and science underlying the use of lead ammunition.