Second Amendment Alert: Be Wary of California’s Lead Ammo Ban


condors and lead ammo

Extremists in the environmental movement are looking to legislate a ban against lead ammo in California. In fact, there is a lawsuit currently underway that is being led by the Biodiversity Center and which is aimed at banning lead ammo nationwide.

This is really another way to limit the Second Amendment.

The California “environmentalists” claim that the toxins from lead ammo are being eaten by scavengers after hunters leave animal remains. The toxins, they report, are killing scavengers, especially Condors, in record numbers.

The California legislation introduced by Assembly member Anthony Rendon, a Democrat, ostensibly aims at reducing a “lingering source of environmental pollution.” Behind him are the Audubon of California, the Humane Society of the US, and Defenders of Wildlife.

The NRA is opposed to bans on lead ammo. Most ammo is made of lead, tiny, minute particles of lead. Studies by environmentalists claim to show that the lead found in birds of prey are highest during the hunting season, which has been debunked by the NRA. [Lead is found naturally in the environment]

There are problems with lead-free ammo for hunters. It is double the price, many guns would have to be retrofitted, and lead-free ammo causes guns to wear out more quickly. Lead-free ammo can be made of bismouth or steel. Guess what – they’re poisonous too. Lead in bullets is not the same noxious lead that is found in paints.

California Fish and Game want this legislation statewide.

The timing of this with the attacks on our Second Amendment is curious. [Yahoo]

Last April, House Republicans passed legislation, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act,  giving hunters and fishing enthusiasts access to certain public lands, and blocking the EPA from banning lead in ammo.

Republicans argued at the time that the ability of sportsmen and women to fish and shoot on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service is being threatened by the Obama administration and environmentalists through bureaucratic regulations.

Republicans also said that banning lead bullets and tackle would cause economic harm to the recreation industry and kill jobs.

“It would be a massive power grab by the EPA without a clear lack of legal authority, but has that ever stopped the EPA under this administration? Sadly, it hasn’t,” said Rep. Doc Hastings (R–Wash.) chairman of the House Resources Committee…Keep reading…

Lead shot for waterfowl has already been banned by US Fish and Wildlife. California had already banned it in big game hunting and coyote hunting in their state.

States have traditionally regulated it but the EPA is now being sued to ban lead ammo nationwide, a suit they welcome.

In May 2012, The Center for Biological DiversityGrand Canyon Wildlands Council and Sierra Club announced their combined intention to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service for  the same reason being used in California – failing to protect endangered California condors from toxic lead poisoning [in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest].

The EPA said it did not have the authority to regulate lead ammunition, a claim disputed by environmental groups.

Maybe the Center should concentrate on the far larger number of dead birds being racked up by the wind farms. If they really care about birds, our Bald Eagle is being killed in fairly high numbers by windmills.

Europe uses the lead issue to ban hunting as a point of interest.

A summary of research on lead ammo –

Fox News:…The lead in ammunition has never been shown to produce any health hazards, but a ban would produce a real health hazard, making it much more difficult for people to use guns to defend themselves [lead-free is lighter and has less momentum].

During the Clinton administration, when the risks of lead ammunition were seriously debated, the EPA found no cause for concern. Research by William Marcus, Senior Science Advisor in the EPA’s Office of Science and Technology, in a letter dated December 25, 1999, stated his findings: the claim that “lead based ammunition is hazardous is in error.” Lead on the soil surface “does not break down. . . . [it] does not pose an environmental or human hazard. . . . In water lead acts much the same as in soil . . . .” The hazards don’t exist for indoor shooting ranges any more than they do for outdoor ranges.

Eating food shot with lead ammunition isn’t a problem. A 2008 study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted blood tests on 736 hunters, found that lead ammunition produced very small changes in lead exposure, with concentrations well below CDC benchmark levels of concern, and posed no discernible risk to human health…Read more…

There was a time when environmental extremists wanted to ban lead sinkers and the fisherman rebelled, rightfully so. The fisherman won that battle.

Second Amendment foes have reloaded in another attempt to restrict Americans’ use of firearms. Disguised as nature lovers, gun grabbers are repeating a demand that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ban the use of lead in ammunition. Forcing hunters to shell out for pricey substitutes is meant to discourage the sport and reduce gun ownership. Given the EPA’s propensity for overregulation, Congress should step in and ensure this restriction never happens. [The Washington Times]



Sentinel 2

Field and Stream Field and Stream