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August 27, 2010
More regulatory overreach at the EPA
In yet another case of regulatory overreach, perfectly timed to further annoy the electorate, the EPA is considering a petition to completely ban lead hunting and target-shooting ammunition, under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Congress "explicitly excluded" ammunition from the 1976 Act, but the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) - a leading anti-hunting organization - has filed a petition which, if approved by the EPA, would result in the total ban of all lead ammunition, as well as lead fishing sinkers.
A ban on lead ammunition, driven by CBD and others, is already in effect in parts of California and Arizona, based on possible lead poisoning of condors due to their scavenging habits. Copper ammunition, the alternative to lead, is much more expensive and is less available and less effective.
Studies in several other states of the "health effects of lead-shot game" have been inconclusive, and hunting groups contend that "efforts to ban lead ammunition are veiled attempts to take guns away from hunters."
The EPA's Lisa Jackson, who in her previous job as New Jersey's DEP chief was a party to New Jersey's ban on bear hunting, and who is currently on a path to regulate carbon dioxide by executive edict, will make the final ruling on the proposed lead ammunition ban.
The petition must be accepted or rejected by the EPA within 90 days, by November 1, the day before the mid-term election, with a public comment period running through October 31.
The NRA has sent a letter to the EPA pointing out that:
Petitioners attempt to evade the clear import of this exemption with the Solomonic suggestion that while ammunition itself is exempt from regulation under the Act, EPA should in effect divide shells and cartridges into their constituent parts and find that each separate component of a shell or cartridge falls under its jurisdiction.
The letter goes on to note that:
Nevertheless, the exemption is not based on the availability of nontoxic alternatives, it is manifestly based on congressional intent that TSCA not be a vehicle to implement gun control.
You can submit comments on the petition at this link, contact your Representative and Senators to urge them to stop the EPA from banning lead ammunition, or you can contact the EPA Administrator directly to voice your opposition to the petition.
As the Washington Examiner notes,
After health care and immigration, apparently the White House doesn't feel it has sufficiently irked voters enough. Bringing the NRA and upset gun owners into the mix should really do wonders for Democrats at the ballot box.
A moose-hunting trip to Alaska might be in order for the Obama regulatory cadre.