California considers banning lead bullets

We’ve banned lead paint. Lead dishes. Lead cookware. Lead pencils. Lead candy. Lead medicine (it’s a traditional Mexican cure for diarrhea).

But we still have lead bullets.

California might be moving towards a ban on the use of lead in bullets due to new studies on the effects of lead on endangered species, particularly the California Condor, the largest terrestrial bird in the United States.

The California Condor is one of the great success stories of species preservation. In 1982, the bird was practically extinct, with no remaining wild condors and only 22 living in captivity. Today, there are more than 100 living in the wild near Big Sur, Pinnacles, Ventura County, the Grand Canyon and Baja California, and another 150 living in captivity.

A study of condors recently discovered that 3 in 4 have elevated levels of lead in their bloodstream. This is due to lead fragments that remain in the bodies of animals abandoned by hunters, which are then eaten by condors, who are scavengers. Lead poisoning can interfere with reproductive functions, among other problems associated with lead toxicity.

The California Department of Fish and Game has proposed banning the use of lead bullets in the 20 counties that are considered condor habitat. Hunters and sport shooters will have to use copper bullets, which cost about twice as much as lead ones. The Center for Biological Diversity is suing California to ban lead bullets, and we can probably expect a bill to be introduced into the legislature to do the same.

12 thoughts on “California considers banning lead bullets”

  1. so wait, if they use copper bullets they can start shooting Condors? or if we ban transfats we can finally eat the delicious California Condor? one of those could feed a city block…


  2. First joke I ever learned:

    “If you’ve seen one Condor, you’ve seen them both”

    True story.


  3. AB 429787 states: Harpoons, being hamful to the human shoulder when used frequently, shall be banned in the use of hunting, fishing or changing non-flourescent lightbulbs.


  4. They can have my fine 32% lead crystal when they pry it from my cold dead hands. Which I guess should be soon, since I eat all my meals and only drink outta or shower with the best Swarovski I can find.
    What they hell kind of bird is going to survive that can’t take a little lead in its diet?! Especialy a scavenger- Talk about an evolutionary dead end.


  5. Is lead tastier than lard? Because if it is, I want some lead-prepared food RIGHT NOW.


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