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HSUS Reasserts Call for Bans on Lead Shot

If you think shooters won’t end up in their sights next, you have another thing coming.  This is not a new issue.  Take this study from 1975 that echos the same debates we’re still having today.  What research I’ve done on this topic, which is admittedly not very thorough, there’s some cause for concern about the issue.   For me as long as wildlife populations remain stable, I don’t see too much of a problem, but you don’t want to be stuck in the public debate of arguing that some wildlife losses are accptable.

The real problem is, there’s no good subistitute for lead shot, or lead bullets.  There are, of course, non-toxic alternatives, but they are inferior to lead in other properties, and will result in more wounded birds.  They are also very expensive.  There’s also the issue for lead bullets of laws against ammunition that’s “armor piercing” interfering with being able to make a quality alternative to lead ammunition.

4 Responses to “HSUS Reasserts Call for Bans on Lead Shot”

  1. Tom says:

    and yet we’ve been living with lead ammunition, game harvested with lead, shooting ranges, even mushroom farms in old lead mines for at least 150 years.

    Oh, and that leaded gas which probably had 10000x more impact then hunks of metal ever did or will.

    Not to mention that some of the alternatives have been shown to cause cancer with a tiny fragment and the fact that they’ll just come back and start their jihad all over again against whatever the industry were to switch to.

    F them!

  2. Matt Groom says:

    Anyone who says that Lead Poisoning is caused by consumption of non-airborne lead is either a liar or a fool and probably both. Your body will not absorb even an inordinately large amount of lead that has not been heated, broken down into super fine particles, or made airborne. You can swallow a chunk of Lead and not get Lead Poisoning. Just don’t powder it before you eat it, and you’ll be fine.

    You can have a bullet lodged in your body for decades and not get Lead Poisoning. People used to use Lead “silverware” for centuries and nobody got ill from it. Why? Because Silver is expensive. Tin ware, like Tin cups, is mostly Lead. Lead was used in plumbing pipes for centuries, and used in the Solder to seal those pipes almost exclusively right up until the 1970’s. Lead was legal to use to seal food containers until 1997.

    Lead cookware, now that’s another story.

    The alternatives to Lead are just as deadly to the human body, and you’re just as susceptible to heavy metal poisoning by being exposed to them as you are to lead, and in many cases, you are more susceptible to being poisoned by them. All heavy metals are inherently unhealthy for you, including things your body uses, like Copper and Zinc. Get too much, and they will make you severely ill and can cause irreparable damage to you nervous and immune systems.

    The only real benefit to Lead alternatives is that they are not currently, but can be easily made more cheaply than Lead, since most of them such as Bismuth, are added to Steel, and they are drastically harder than Lead, which means they shoot through body armor with aplomb. Things like Zinc bullets are dramatically harder than Lead and can be cast, with the added bonus of not Leading your bore. Harder + Lighter and Faster = Body Armor penetrating. They can outlaw Lead, or they can legalize armor piercing ammo, they can’t do both.

  3. Jessup says:

    Tom:

    You are right about leaded gasoline.

    Removing the lead from gasoline lowered the blood lead-levels of the American population dramatically — to such an extent I’ve been wondering why it isn’t shouted from the housetops as the environmental success that it was.

    I suspect the answer is that the promised health benefits of that success have never materialized — and admitting that would undercut the real agenda behind the environmental lead hysteria. So, better to keep quiet about the success that wasn’t.

    I can recall when the abysmal performance of urban school kids was blamed partially on their high lead levels due to atmospheric lead pollution from high traffic concentrations. That “health problem” has largely been corrected, but their scholastic performance is worse than ever. So, better to forget the claims of the past, to save the credibility of the claims being made for the future.

  4. G. Thomas says:

    Here is another thing that various factions tend to not realize (I work for an engineering firm that frequently cleans up and remediates shooting ranges)….if a range operator switches from lead shot to steel shot (under the assumption that it is ecologically healthier), you will be in for a big surprise. Switching from lead to steel has some merits for the toxicological considerations of blood lead exposure, but the ecological considerations of laying steel shot over top of existing lead shot (known as “legacy lead”) are significant. Steel shot corrodes 22 times faster than lead shot (plus it corrodes in air as well as water)…locations where corroded steel shot exists over top of corroded lead shot (or bullets) means that the steel shot will go colloidal (meaning the corroded particulare aspect of the steel shot makes it a great transport mechanism for latching onto the lead components and allowing for a ready migration of that material over cross a wide range of ecological receptors. The wost of these are that the lead binds with the collodial steel and allows it to enter and pollute groundwater and other surface ecological features. The only way you can avoid this phenomena is to not lay steel rounds over top of any lead shot…does anyone have any idea of what it would cost to totally clean up and remove every aspect of lead from those areas? More than you can imagine, one shooting range we are currently cleaning up right now, includes having to restore the ecology of a nearby lake..it is slated to cost around 29 million dollars to clean up.

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