NRA Don't Shoot Down Efforts to Get Lead Out of Hunting Ammo

  • By: Susan V
  • Target: National Rifle Association

The Center for Biological Diversity has been trying since 2004 to get the EPA to regulate lead in hunting ammunition. Left with no other choice, CBD, along with other groups, filed a lawsuit last month.

Now the National Rifle Association has taken legal action to block this effort to protect bald eagles, swans and the endangered California condor. Millions of these and other birds die painful deaths yearly from needless poisoning by toxic lead ammo fragments left in the wild, and lead poisoning is the leading cause of death for America‘s ancient condor.

Preventing this lead poisoning of birds will also reduce the risk of poisoning those who eat lead-shot game.

But even though the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act gives EPA the authority to stop this lead-poisoning epidemic, says CBD, “the NRA is bound and determined to keep the EPA from doing its job.”

Tell NRA to stop blocking efforts to get the lead out of hunting ammo.

We, the undersigned, agree with CBD that NRA’s attempts to block regulation of lead in hunting ammunition is an attack on wildlife.

Jeff Miller with CBD told E News Park Forest that the NRA knows that switching to nontoxic ammo has nothing to do with restricting hunting, and California has already enacted non-lead hunting regulations that serve as a good model for hunting using nontoxic materials.

It seems clear enough that NRA’s position on this issue is, as Miller says, “out of step with Americans-including hunters…”

The EPA has been petitioned by nearly 150 organizations in 38 states, while the NRA has persisted in supporting legislation meant to strip EPA’s ability not only to regulate toxic lead in ammunition, but also in fishing equipment, even though, says E News Park Forest, “effective nontoxic alternatives exist for lead ammunition and sinkers for all hunting and fishing activities.”

NRA’s claims following a 2009 Park Service ban on lead ammo, that “There is no science to support NPS' contention that the use of lead ammunition in hunting is causing environmental contamination, having a negative effect on wildlife…” is outdated given that recent studies confirm that there is no safe level of lead.

“There does not appear to be a really safe level of lead exposure,” said Andrew A. Rooney, a senior health scientist with the National Toxicology Program who coordinated the review of existing research. “The best course of action,” he added, “is to eliminate all lead exposure from our environment.”

NRA’s contention that removing lead “would needlessly push hunters to use more costly ammo like tungsten, copper, and steel,” does not justify the risks posed by the continued use of lead in ammo.

We request that your organization stop its attempts to block regulation of this extremely toxic poison in hunting ammunition.

Thank you for your time.

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