Anti-Hunters Won't Take "No" For an Answer, Seek Lead Ban

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Anti-Hunters Won't Take "No" For an Answer, Seek Lead Ban

Postby Tim Nunan » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:45 pm ... d-ban.aspx

In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied a petition filed by a number of groups (led by the radical environmental group Center for Biological Diversity) to ban the use of lead ammunition. Now, they're back, asking for any and all possible regulations, up to and including "a complete ban on bullets and shot containing lead for use in hunting and shooting sports."

The 2010 denial was based on a simple fact. The EPA does not have the legal authority under the Toxic Substance Control Act to ban or regulate ammunition.

As we reported in 2010, this is not an accident. When TSCA was passed in 1976, pro-gun legislators led by the late Sen. James McClure (R-Idaho) added language to the bill specifically exempting ammunition from EPA control. They knew, even then, that radical anti-hunting groups could try to use the law to end hunting and recreational shooting by making ammo too expensive. Their foresight has now provided an invaluable protection against the effort to ban traditional lead ammunition.

But you can never count on radicals to stop just because they have been beaten. In fact, they've been beaten three times: The EPA has also denied their petition to ban the use of lead fishing sinkers, and when they sued to force the EPA to impose an ammunition ban, a federal court ruled that the suit had been filed too late.

This week CBD filed a new petition that is just slightly different than the original, only changing the language to specifically target ammunition used in hunting or recreational shooting so that it would not apply to law enforcement or the military.

Fortunately, NRA is a step ahead, supporting passage of H.R. 4089, the "Sportsman Heritage Act of 2012", which includes four key pieces of legislation for hunters. One of those, based on the "Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act" introduced last year, is an even stronger prohibition on the regulation of lead ammunition by the EPA. The new prohibition clarifies that the TSCA exemption applies to bullets and shot, not just to fully loaded cartridges.

The CBD is unlikely to ever give up in its effort to ban lead ammunition, which means NRA and gun owners will have to remain vigilant to protect our rights. Passage of H. R. 4089 would be an important step forward, and just might make CBD and other radical anti-hunting groups think twice before filing another frivolous petition.
Tim Nunan
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"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." - Edward R. Murrow
Tim Nunan
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