Lead Ban Chronicles – US Court Rejects CBD Lead Ban Suit. Meanwhile, In California…

May 24, 2013

Lead Ban ChroncilesA US District Court judge in Washington, D.C. has, once again, ruled that the EPA does not have the authority to regulate ammunition components.  This derails efforts by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to pursue a lawsuit which would force the EPA to consider a nationwide ban on lead bullets and shot.

Due to provisions in the Toxic Substances Control Act, the EPA is specifically prohibited from passing regulations to restrict ammunition manufacture or sale because ammunition falls into a category of products subject to special taxation.  It’s fairly technical, at least to my layman’s mind, but it does appear to be pretty clear.  Apparently the DC District Court agrees.  The “how-and-why” of this prohibition is spelled out in the Act itself, if you’re interested in reading through.  You can find it HERE.  Specific language is in Section 3, under Definitions (2)(B)(v).

While I am occasionally at odds with statements from the NSSF, I have to agree completely with the NSSF Senior V.P., Larry Keane’s comments:

“There is quite simply no sound science that shows the use of traditional ammunition has harmed wildlife populations or that it presents a health risk to humans who consume game taken with such ammunition,” said Keane. “Banning traditional ammunition would cost tens of thousands of jobs in America and destroy wildlife conservation that is funded in part by an 11 percent excise tax on the sale of ammunition. The protection and management of wildlife is properly handled by the professional biologists in the state fish and game agencies, as it has been for over a hundred years.”

Of course we all know this isn’t the end of the issue.  The CBD leadership is primarily composed of lawyers, and  you can bet they’ll continue to beat against this door until it gives.  They’ve got nothing but time, and apparently no shortage of funding.  Even so, the NRA and NSSF are working through channels to get legislation passed that will clearly exempt ammunition components from regulation by the EPA in hopes of heading this thing off, once and for all.

Meanwhile, in California the statewide lead ammo ban is one step closer to passage.  AB711, which expands the current lead ban to cover the entire Golden State passed the Assembly and is now before the Senate.  Given the makeup of the CA government right now, it seems likely that the bill will pass through to Governor Brown’s desk.  I’m sure Mr. Brown has better things on which to focus his attention, and I have little doubt that he will quickly sign the bill into law… if for no better reason than to move on to other issues.

The only thing that might possibly stall this thing would be a significant show of political force from the state’s sportsmen and women.  Flood the Senate with mail, email, and phone calls.  Fill the State Capitol with hunters and gun owners, and focus on factual talking points at every opportunity.  Send letters to newspapers and television stations across the state.  Contest this thing tooth and nail.

Or start shopping for lead-free ammo and hope for the best.


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