Round Two: Group Again Pushes for Federal Lead Ammo Ban, Restrictions
For cryin’ out loud, here we go again. After being defeated last year, serial lawsuit-filing anti-hunting organization the Center for...
For cryin’ out loud, here we go again. After being defeated last year, serial lawsuit-filing anti-hunting organization the Center for Biological Diversity is back at it on lead ammo. If at first you don’t succeed…
From this story in the New York Times:
Citing risks to birds and to human health, roughly 100 environmental groups formally asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency this week to ban or at least impose limits on lead in the manufacturing of bullets and shotgun pellets for hunting or recreation. The use of such ammo by hunters puts about 3,000 pounds of lead into the environment annually and causes the death of 20 million birds each year from lead poisoning, said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate at one of the groups, the Center for Biological Diversity.
Consumption of meat from animals that are shot with lead bullets also contributes unacceptable levels of the metal into people’s diets, Mr. Miller said in a phone interview. The ban sought by environmental groups would not apply to ammunition used by law enforcement and the military. In addition to bullets and pellets used in hunting and recreational activity like range shooting, the petition seeks to limit the use of the metal in fishing tackle and weights. A similar request was denied by the E.P.A. in August 2010. But Mr. Miller said that the new petition includes a larger consortium of groups, including some made up of hunters, and cites recent research demonstrating that the toxic levels of lead in bullets and shot cause significant poisoning of birds nationwide.
And once again, the NSSF is taking the lead on opposing the proposed ban.
But Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry, countered that a ban on lead would cause ammunition prices to skyrocket. Currently 95 percent of the ammunition used for recreation and hunting in the United States contains lead, he said, and there is no ready alternative at a similar price. Besides, he said, lead is useful for ballistic properties like its malleability. A bill that directly opposes the petition is already working its way through the House of Representatives.
Known as the Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, it would specify that the Toxic Substances Control Act’s exemption on regulating ammunition also prevents the E.P.A. from regulating the components of bullets and pellets. It was recently approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources but has not yet come to a vote on the House floor. Mr. Keane said his group would not oppose regulation of ammunition components if a need for change were “conclusively demonstrated by science.” However, he maintains that any such rules should be issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service or state wildlife regulators, not by the E.P.A. “This is not the E.P.A.’s sandbox,” he said.
Twenty million birds a year from lead poisoning? Is there a peer-reviewed source for that number, or did they just grab it out of the air? Thoughts? Reaction?