• Martinez measure would require nontoxic ammunition when hunting

    ducks 040519SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed legislation yesterday that works to move away from the use of lead ammunition for hunting in Illinois.

    The measure mandates that only steel or other non-toxic shotshells can be used to take waterfowl. It also bans the use of any shotgun larger than 10 gauge or smaller than a .410 bore to take wildlife and the use of lead shotshells on Department of Natural Resources properties on or after Jan. 1, 2022.

    “As we become more aware of the dangers of lead exposure, we must work to eliminate it in all forms,” Martinez said. “There is no reason why people should not be able to hunt safely without endangering animals or people with lead ammunition.” 

    The Centers for Disease Control states that there is no safe level of lead exposure. Lead ammunition puts animals at risk, but anyone who eats meat from animals killed with lead-based ammunition is also at risk of exposure.

    Senate Bill 780 passed the Senate without opposition and now heads to the Illinois House for consideration.