As you’d expect, armed law enforcement officers are required to keep their sharp-shooting skills, well, sharp. This means they must spend time at firing ranges for routine training sessions.
But while firearms training is meant to keep both the police and the public safe, it actually poses a hazard to the officers themselves.
For over a year, The Seattle Times has been investigating how people shooting at dirty gun ranges across the U.S. have suffered from lead poisoning. Sometimes, they’ve lost feeling in their hands and feet. Other times, they’ve been too tired to get out of bed.
Police are especially at risk because they have to go to gun ranges to keep their jobs. We hear from a corrections officer who got sick, and we talk to the family of an officer who died after a weeklong training session. We also look at steps firing ranges can take to prevent lead exposure.