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War of words builds over possible regulation of lead bullets

By Julian Hattem, http://thehill.com

Wildlife conservationists are facing off against the gun lobby over hunters’ use of lead bullets.

This month, the National Rife Association (NRA) announced a new campaign to discourage regulators and lawmakers from limiting the use of lead bullets, which birds like eagles and vultures sometimes eat by accident and then contract lead poisoning.

The gun group calls the effort to regulate the bullets, as California is currently considering, an “assault on traditional lead ammunition” that is based in bad science.

Conservationists looking to protect the birds have fired back.

In the last five days, more than 50,000 people have signed a Sierra Club petition calling on the NRA to abandon its campaign.

“You’d think the NRA would want to protect the bald eagle – the very bird that is in their logo. But, it’s a mistake to expect logical thinking from an organization that constantly attacks policies even their own members support,” said Dan Chu, the organization’s senior director for its wildlands campaign, in a statement. “The truth is that non-toxic ammunition is accessible and effective for hunters and it helps preserve some of the most important parts of our nation’s unique wild heritage.”

Lawmakers have asked the federal government to get involved. Read more