Stop the NRA’s Lead-Poisoning Legislation

  • 16

There’s nothing sporting about poisoning bald eagles. Yet legislation the Senate will vote on this month, the so-called “Sportsmen’s Act,” would actually prevent the Environmental Protection Agency — the same agency that got lead out of paint and gasoline — from protecting wildlife, as well as families that eat game shot with lead ammunition, from lead poisoning.

Toxic lead continues to enter the food chain through bullet fragments in game shot by hunters who opted for less expensive lead shot pellets. In addition to bald eagles and endangered condors, more than 75 species of birds and other wildlife are needlessly poisoned or killed by lead left in the wild. The EPA can, and should, address these preventable deaths by applying the Toxic Substances Control Act, a well-established and time-tested federal law aimed at limiting our exposure to dangerous substances like lead.

Now that numerous effective, nontoxic bullets and shot are widely available and in many cases comparable in price to lead, there’s simply no reason to continue to use toxic materials for hunting.

The tired argument presented by the National Rifle Association and its well-heeled gun lobby claims that removing toxic materials from the sporting marketplace is somehow anti-hunting — but this has been proven wrong through the example of California’s nontoxic hunting laws.

Regulations that went into effect in 2008 to reduce lead poisonings of condors require nonlead ammunition for all hunting in most of Southern and central California. Hunters in these areas continue to hunt traditional game using nontoxic copper rounds, and there has been no decrease in game tags or hunter-generated revenues.

More than 150 organizations in 38 states are calling for regulation of lead ammunition. But the NRA’s radical legislation would gut the Toxic Substances Control Act and prevent the EPA from doing its job.

Sign this letter asking your senators to say no to this bill(and share the letter with everyone you know), plus learn more about the Center’s campaign to get the lead out. Also, check out this interesting New York Times op-ed, which clearly shows that the NRA does not represent all hunters.

Human Health Risks of Lead Ammunition:

Lead ammunition also poses unnecessary health risks to people. Lead bullets fragment extensively and spread minute particles of toxic lead throughout shot game. Hunters then feed this toxic harvest to their families. Radiographs show that imperceptible, dust-sized particles of lead can infect meat up to a foot and a half away from the bullet wound, causing a grave health risk to humans eating lead-shot game. Read more about our Get the Lead Out campaign at

Please share this lifesaving campaign with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

Vanished - Megascops Choliba by Jose Garcia Allievi

Discover hidden wildlife with our FREE newsletters

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


Founder and Executive Editor

Share this post with your friends

  • 16

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
Larry Jordan

This is a no-brainer. No one needs to use lead shot any longer. New ammunition that is lead free is available and comparable. What can possibly be the point of using poison ammunition in this day and age? This legislation is being voted on Monday November 26th so get that letter to your representative signed ASAP! Over two thirds of fatalities of the endangered California Condor are caused by lead poisoning. Come on, let’s get the lead out of our environment!


I am a member of the NRA and disagree with them on a number of issues but they are still the only organization still fighting for my 2nd Amendment Rights. I agree with stopping lead bullets/shot and have written them saying so. I am caught in the middle but many of us cannot be defined as black or white; liberal or conservative. There is a gray area and the sooner our politicians acknowledge that the better our country will be



I know you have very good intentions, but if I sign this letter, I’m also still supporting the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and that is as you know: the right of people to keep and bear arms. Isn’t this like telling them to keep on doing it, but in a different way? Isn’t this still endorsing basic NRA principles, to bear arms, even if killing for food?

Glenn Bartley

Maria, there’s a well-known saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. The way to wildlife conservation is a long one and will involve many small steps. The change to non-lead ammunition is only one of these small steps, but it will help to save our wildlife from lead poisoning (and also humans).


I agree it’s a small step Ken, and it can be, as you say, incremental to changes for everyone’s welfare, but only at this moment of space and time that we are in, in regard to this matter. As to whether this will be a long term solution still remains to be experienced, and I agree it’s a small incrememtal change towards improvement.