Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, 66th Assembly District Manhattan, announced today the Assembly passage of legislation A.5728. This bill prohibits the use of lead ammunition when hunting on state land and land that contributes surface water to the New York City water supply.
Although lead has been used for a wide variety of purposes throughout human history, it is a highly toxic substance that can cause extensive nervous system damage, reduce fertility, heart disease, and death. Lead poisoning is particularly dangerous to children and pregnant individuals. According to the World Health Organization, there is no acceptable level of exposure to lead that is known to be safe. Despite the progress that has been made over the last decades to remove lead from consumer products such as gasoline, paint, and water pipes, lead remains as the most prevalent material of which to manufacture firearm ammunition. Due to its malleability, lead ammunition fragments upon impact with a target, lodging miniscule lead splinters up to 18 inches away from a wound channel in a hunted animal. The use of lead ammunition not only poses a risk to humans who eat meat harvested with the toxic metal, but also endangers eagles and other scavengers who eat leftover “gut piles” and “bloodshot” that is discarded by hunters in the field.
This legislation builds off the federal ban of lead ammunition in hunting waterfowl enacted in 1991 under the Bush Sr. Administration, the federal ban of using lead ammunition on all federal land under the Obama Administration in 2021 that was later rescinded by the Trump Administration, and the statewide ban on the use of lead ammunition in the State of California that went into effect in 2019.
Assemblymember Glick said, “While we have had great success in the recovery of bald eagles, they too often die of lead poisoning. It is long past time to take steps to reduce this toxin. This is a modest step that will protect the health of New Yorkers and our wildlife, and also begin to clean up our state lands.”
Companion legislation, S.5058 is sponsored in the Senate by Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick.