The federal government has cancelled a tender for a study on the environmental impact of lead shot and bullets.

The tender was issued earlier this month by Environment Canada, but immediately ran into opposition from shooting groups.

Tony Bernardo, spokesman for the Canadians Shooting Sports Association, called the study complete nonsense — a perspective shared by the Conservative government.

Paul Calandra, parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has told the Commons the tender is dead. He called it a waste of taxpayers' dollars. Calandra says the government will continue to support hunters and sport shooters.

"We know that the Liberals and the NDP probably would have continued this study on the grounds that the environmental impact of bullets on the forest floor would have been a good pretext for onerous environmental restrictions on the use of bullets," Calandra told the Commons.

"And they probably would bring back the long gun registry."

In announcing the tender for the study, Environment Canada said it would have looked at the impact of regulations on lead shot.

"In 1995, ammunitions were estimated to have contributed to releasing over 1,000 tonnes of lead in the Canadian environment; however regulations that entered into force in 1997 were expected to address half of these releases," the department said.

Bernardo dismissed the study as little more than another effort to make things difficult for firearms enthusiasts.