Gun range CEO responds to timing of Seattle Times article, “Young Shooters at Risk” regarding lead bullets

krrcThe Seattle Times ran an article on October 20, entitled “Loaded With Lead: Young Shooters at Risk,” timed right before the vote on gun control initiative 594 and pro-gun initiative 591. It was the third in a three-part series, which came out around when early ballots were being mailed, 20 days prior to the election, October 16, so they would start hitting voters’ mailboxes about October 17. The first and second part of this series ran on October 17.
Marcus Carter, the CEO for the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club, had this to say:

I read all three parts (painful). I have been telling folks for the last 20+ years that the left would use lead as an issue to nibble away at our rights and thus articles like this “investigative” piece. Isn’t it wonderful that they lump all “10,000 gun ranges” with the few that have had notable problems.

“Insidious Toxins”…”silent killer” (yet I know of no one who has died from lead exposure at a range) Inflammatory rhetoric at best…

I’ve gone to several shooting range design/operations/maintenance conferences, as well as “get ahead on lead” type workshops specifically dealing with lead at shooting ranges. There seems to be 4 things in place for folks to have elevated lead levels from exposure at a firing range. 1) near full time employee/worker; 2) at an indoor range; 3) that has poor ventilation; 4) and they have poor hygiene practices.

You’ll notice that not a single example in their “project” was an outdoor facility!…In fact, one of the illustrations suggest people go to an outdoor range where the chances of over exposure is minimal.

This report was skewed from the get go with only one purpose, scare people away from shooting ranges and the responsible practice necessary to sufficiently maintain our right to bear arms.

We have been teaching folks about the possible ramifications of lead exposure and how to minimize the potential risk for, again, 20+ years. KRRC has the only range in the state with an environmental lab and an environmental engineer (ret.) running our Environmental Stewardship Program. We exceed the EPA BMP Guidelines.

I was tested for lead when the City of Bremerton first cried “LEAD!!! OMG!!! We need to shut down the range!!!” I was in charge of the indoor range at the Sheridan Park Center off of Lebo, and in the range more than any other individual. At that time I was also an ammunition manufacturer loading 100K rounds per week of those nasty lead projectiles and a competitive shooter with at least 16 hours per week at the out door facility and etc., not to mention a gunsmith working nearly 40 hours per week on dirty firearms, ad infinitum… My blood lead levels were in the normal range…for a child. The city had the range tested and the “lead” problem went quite. They eventually shut it down due to building codes on ingress and egress and turned it into a storage area for a preschool. What did the City do with the lead??? Dumped it in the Bremerton watershed according to the individual that hauled it off. Only a government range can get away with that!

The “normal” range in blood lead levels is being dropped once again by the “experts”. We are hearing, including in this article, that “there is no safe level of lead” and there are those that will use that against ranges and firearms in general. The Department of Ecology in Washington State (DOE) met with Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club recently about a complaint that we had lead in our shooting areas. DOE said that for us to ‘clean-up’ our range to the standards they insist on applying, NO RANGE would survive. “ZERO lead is the goal” and that we have to remove all lead to the point that they “could build a preschool WHEN you sell the property.” (Does that telegraph a punch or what!!??!) Lead is a natural substance and a recyclable commodity. Much more could be said…but I am off to work in a lead filled environment…

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