Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stop the unfounded pending ban on lead-based ammunition

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Lisa Jackson (who was responsible for unnecessarily and unwisely banning bear hunting in New Jersey) is considering a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) -- a radical anti-hunting organization -- to ban all traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976, a law in which Congress expressly exempted ammunition.

The cowards behind this petition know they cannot accomplish their goal of banning hunting and other activities protected by the Second Amendment though the legislative process because legislators are accountable to, and known by, the people. Consquently, they are attacking shooters through the bureaucratic process so that a ban can be imposed by unknown and unaccountable bureaucrats.

If the EPA approves the petition, the result will be a total ban on all ammunition containing lead-core components, including hunting and target-shooting rounds. This would make ammunition prohibitively expensive for most shooters (perhaps the true intent of the petitioners).

• Wildlife management is the proper jurisdiction of the US Fish and Wildlife Services and the 50 state wildlife agencies -- not the EPA.

• There is no scientific evidence that the use of traditional ammunition has an adverse impact on wildlife populations.

• While certain lead compounds have been demonstrated to be extremely toxic, metallic lead, as used in bullets and shot has not been scientifically shown to be toxic.

• A 2008 study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on blood lead levels of North Dakota hunters confirmed that consuming game harvested with traditional ammunition does not pose a human health risk.

• Lead is a naturally occurring element mined from the Earth. In virtually all cases, lead which is returned to the soil from whence it came by shooters remains in its non-toxic metallic form since it does not result in the formation of meaningful levels of toxic lead compounds.

• A ban on traditional ammunition would have a negative impact on wildlife conservation. The federal excise tax that manufacturers pay on the sale of the ammunition (11 percent) is a primary source of wildlife conservation funding. The bald eagle's recovery, considered to be a great conservation success story, was made possible and funded by hunters using traditional ammunition - the very ammunition organizations like the CBD are now demonizing.

• Many firearms, primarily muzzleloaders, are designed to shoot only lead projectiles and using non-lead ammunition is unsafe in these firearms.

• Many shooters enjoy making their own bullets using scrap lead and lead alloys which otherwise would find it's way to landfills. This ban would infringe on their hobby as well as end this productive use of scrap lead.

• Recent statistics from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service show that from 1981 to 2006 the number of breeding pairs of bald eagles in the United States increased 724 percent. And much like the bald eagle, raptor populations throughout the United States are soaring.

California, hardly a good example of sound regulatory action, has already put in place an unreasonable and unfounded ban on lead ammunition. The remaining States, as well as the federal government, must avoid following California's path.

A ban on lead-based ammunition ins nothing more than a thinly disguised infringement on hunting and on the free exercise of a God-given, Constitutionally-guaranteed right. The prohibitive cost of lead substitutes will drive many shooters away from exercising their Second-Amendment rights.

Every congressman must do whatever he can to stop the EPA (which has no jurisdiction over this matter) from banning our ammunition. We citizens must let both Congress and the EPA know that any ban on lead-based ammunition is unacceptable.

Today, the EPA opened the CBD petition to public comment. The comment period ends on October 31, 2010. The EPA has published the petition and relevant supplemental information as Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0681. If you would like to read the original petition and see the contents of this docket folder, please click here. In order to go directly to the 'submit a comment' page for this docket number, please click here.

1 comment:

  1. Responding to a grassroots outcry from gun owners, the Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has denied this petition. The agency explained in a news release that it "does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)...nor is the agency seeking such authority." -