Getting the Lead Out
We are working to end the use of lead ammunition on National Wildlife Refuges. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service have a statutory duty to act to protect and conserve wildlife on these lands, and in 2017, consistent with that responsibility, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a Director’s Order to phase out the use of lead on these federal lands by 2022. However, the order was undone by Trump’s Interior Department.
Lead alternatives are readily available, and comparably priced copper and steel ammunition outperform lead and do not keep killing days, weeks, and months after leaving the gun. In 1991, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service banned the use of lead ammunition in waterfowl hunting, and waterfowl hunting has continued uninterrupted, reducing lead poisoning, and protecting the species for a variety of wildlife uses, including hunting.
Dozens of states have restrictions on lead ammunition, and California is phasing out its use entirely. The nation has taken steps to reduce human exposure to lead by phasing its use out in gasoline, plumbing, paint, and toys. It's time to take this action in sport hunting.