TALLAHASSEE —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.
DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement is responsible for statewide environmental
resource law enforcement, as well as providing law enforcement services to
Florida’s state parks and greenways and trails. Division personnel from the
three operating bureaus patrol state lands; investigate environmental resource
crimes; and respond to natural disasters, civil unrest, hazardous material
incidents and oil spills that threaten the environment.
To report an environmental crime, wireless customers can dial #DEP. Callers
can also report environmental crimes to the State Warning Point by calling (877)
2-SAVE-FL (1.877.272.8335). General environmental inquiries should be directed
to DEP district offices during normal business hours. For more information about
DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement, visit
DEP produced a manual designed to assist in developing Best Management
Practices (BMPs) at outdoor shooting ranges. It was developed through a
cooperative effort by members of the shooting range community and industry, the
United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Florida DEP. The manual
can be viewed at