The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) announced today that the agency will be switching to lead-free ammunition during training exercises and practice scenarios. The bullet casings to be used are made from recycled brass, and the bullets are compressed copper with a lead-free primer.

“Lead-based ammunition can cause soil and groundwater contamination,” said DEP Division of Law Enforcement Director Henry Barnet. “With this change, the division is increasing its conservation efforts at firing ranges and practice sites, where thousands of rounds of ammunition are discharged.”

Florida depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply, and on surface water for the outdoor recreation industry. High rainfall and acidic conditions, typical in Florida, cause lead to be more mobile in the environment. Therefore, proper management of outdoor shooting ranges is especially important.

State law enforcement officers from the Florida Park Police and special agents from the DEP DLE’s Criminal Investigations Bureau train with firearms in accordance with agency policies and accreditation standards.

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