The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) opposes environmental group efforts to restrict or ban the use of ammunition that contains lead. Many of these liberal groups believe that lead causes adverse environmental effects on animal populations. These anti-gun groups have even gone to great lengths to promote their anti-hunting agendas, saying that traditional ammunition is dangerous to wildlife and that people who consume animals’ shot with traditional ammunition are at risk.
The reality is that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not consider traditional lead-based ammunition to be an environmental concern. In fact, traditional ammunition uses less than five-percent of U.S. lead. With no sound evidence to link traditional ammunition to harmful environmental causes, courts have ruled in favor of pro-hunting groups, thus far permitting traditional ammunition to remain in use.
Currently, ammunition manufacturers pay an astounding 11-percent of excise tax dollars on the sale of ammunition. This is a significant source of funding for wildlife conservation within the United States, helping aid in the bald eagle’s protection. In fact, between 1981 and 2006, the bald eagle population soared an astounding 724-percent. Currently, raptor populations are also seeing an increase in numbers, despite environmental groups claiming that traditional lead ammunition has lead to a decrease in overall population.
Banning or limiting the use of lead ammunition could lead to devastating effects on the hunting industry and firearm markets. This would also result in higher-cost ammunition, which would leave only the wealthy affording hunting hobbies.
Lead ammunition has been in use for more than a century, with millions of Americans safely consuming wildlife and game harvested by this source of ammunition. The original “study” that sparked public lead ammunition concern was conducted by an anti-hunting dermatologist in North Dakota, that claimed he examined several venison samples from pantries, all of which contained high levels of lead bullet exposure. Instead of conducting their own research and studies, the state simply accepted these samples and stopped accepting venison donations. In fact, the truth is that nearby Iowa has conducted several studies and never did a case of elevated lead levels appear in a hunter’s blood samples.
In 2008, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that game harvested using traditional ammunition poses zero risk to human health. In fact, these public scares were no more than anti-hunting agenda groups trying to employ public scare tactics to help restrict hunting and promote anti-gun legislation.