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Washington State Has Lead Ammunition in the Crosshairs!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Please Contact the Governor and the Department of Ecology Today!

We have recently sent you alerts about a Draft Lead Chemical Action Plan (CAP) that the state's Department of Ecology has released for public comment.  We encourage you to read and comment on this document because it covers lead ammunition.

The Department of Ecology has told those who have sent in comments that, contrary to what NRA says, the CAP does not recommend a ban on lead ammunition.  Instead, they say the CAP recommends a voluntary use of non-lead alternatives.

Here is the NRA’s view:  Page 208 of the CAP states, "Products that do not need lead and directly expose wildlife include wheel weights, small fishing weights, and some ammunition.”  NRA infers from this that if the CAP suggests some ammunition “does not need lead” then such ammunition should be banned and made from alternative materials.  The plan includes a cost analysis of banning lead shot.  If a ban is not a consideration then why is the Department of Ecology analyzing the cost of such action?  Recommendation 9 on Page 235 of the CAP calls for a phase out of lead shot.  "Phase out" sure sounds like "ban" to the NRA.

While it cannot be proven at this time, NRA can just about guarantee that lead ammunition bans are on the minds of many people involved with the CAP project.  Given what we are seeing in other states by environmental-leaning government agencies and legislatures, this is not much of a stretch.  And with the discussion of green bullets in the CAP, it is doubtful that the next steps will be far behind.

Examples from other states include California, where hunters were asked to voluntarily use non-lead ammunition in areas occupied by the California condor.  Within two years, the request was replaced with a legislative ban on hunters' use of lead ammunition.  In Arizona, the same request was made of hunters, but as soon as the California ban was signed into law, lead-ban proponents started their attack in Arizona.  A symposium was held in Boise, Idaho on lead ammunition in June at which almost all speakers supported a ban on lead ammunition, regardless of cost, performance, or availability of substitutes.  NRA believes the CAP is a preliminary step that will lead to the promotion of a legislative or regulatory ban on lead ammunition.

Please take the time to read the CAP and provide your comments
to the Department of Ecology and to Governor Chris Gregoire (D) by Monday, October 6.  The CAP can be viewed by visiting http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/pbt/leadcap/.  Respectfully let the Governor know that there is no adequate substitute for lead ammunition and that any affects on humans and wildlife do not justify a ban as recommended by her Department of Ecology.  Governor Gregoire can be reached by phone at (360) 902-4111, by fax at (360) 753-4110, or click here to send email.  The Governor can also be reached by U.S. Mail at: Governor Chris Gregoire, Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 40002, Olympia, WA 98504-0002.

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