Lead ammunition ban passed after feds withheld key data, hunters group says - Washington Times - Liar Liar!
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Lead ammunition ban passed after feds withheld key data, hunters group says - Washington Times

A pro-hunting group is up in arms after obtaining emails that it says indicate that a federal official withheld critical data on lead blood levels in the California condor until after gun control advocates in the California state legislature used the iconic bird’s plight to help push through a law last year to ban lead ammunition.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation obtained the emails as part of a Freedom of Information Act request showing that John McCamman, California condor recovery coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service, did not make the report public until the bill was on its way to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown. Mr. Brown signed the measure in October 2013.

The annual update, which had been previously issued in June, found little change in the condor’s blood lead levels despite a 2007 ban on lead ammunition in the “condor zone,” a lengthy swath of habitat along the coast from Ventura County to Santa Clara County. The California state legislature acted at the urging of wildlife and animal rights advocates, led by the Humane Society, which argued that the California condor and other species were being poisoned by ingesting lead shot, fragments or contaminated prey.

Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel, accused the Fish and Wildlife Service of deliberately sitting on the report in order to bolster the chances of passage of Assembly Bill 711, which ushered in the nation’s first statewide lead ammunition ban.

“[T]he email thread shows that they withheld that [information] from the public; they withheld it from the legislature purposely,” Mr. Keane said. “And why? Because the results show that despite the existing law and regulations that ban the use of traditional ammunition by hunters, it was not having an impact on condor blood-lead levels in California.”

Mr. Keane added, “Which suggests, as we have said all along, that condors in California are accessing lead from other sources, not ammunition.”

 

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