Via Mark Hemingway. Hey, if air is an environmental hazard worthy of federal regulation, surely bullets are too, no?

I could sit here for a week and not come up with an issue more likely to make already vulnerable House Dems wet themselves than this one, assuming that the EPA acts on it. Which, I’m guessing, they won’t.

NSSF is springing into action, as the public comment period opens on EPA considering a regulation that will ban all traditional lead ammunition. This would basically end the shooting sports as we know it. Remember this is a no-win situation for us, because bullets made of materials other than lead are often considered armor piercing by law. Copper is your basic material, and copper is expensive, and has much poorer performance properties than lead.

As NSSF has pointed out, there’s no real scientific basis for restricting lead ammunition. Just about all shooting ranges at this point are recycling their lead (it’s too valuable to just leave in the ground). California’s ban has not been shown to reduce lead levels in Condors, and has driven more people away from hunting. Additionally, it’s interfered with lawful self-protection in parts of California that are considered condor habitat.

Here’s the site where you can read the official petition, leave a comment, etc. The date the comment period ends? Two days before the midterms. Worst-case scenario here: The EPA announces the ban, thereby instantly causing a stampede of Blue Dogs from rural districts down Pennsylvania Avenue so that they can pass a bill overriding it. (If the ban comes next year, our new Republican House — and Senate? — will take care of it, natch.) Then it’s on to The One’s desk for signature, and rest assured, with his eye on 2012 and knowing that he’ll need western and midwestern states to win, he will sign it. Maybe even with a smiley face as the “O.” Damn, I love wedge issues.