EPA on lead-ammunition ban: Never mind

posted at 9:30 pm on August 27, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Not that this was going anywhere anyway, but someone at the EPA must have gotten a few phone calls about their open comment period on this truly screwy idea from either the White House, Congressional leadership, or perhaps both.  Just two days ago, the EPA announced that they would take comments until the end of October as to whether they agreed that lead-based ammunition and fishing sinkers amounted to such a dire threat to the environment that the EPA should ban both.  Looks like they heard enough comments, at least on ammunition:

Responding to a grassroots outcry from gun owners, the Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has denied a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity and other radical groups that had sought to ban the use of lead in ammunition.

Agreeing with the position of the NRA and the firearms industry, the agency explained in a news release that it “does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).”  Further crushing the hopes of anti-gun and anti-hunting activists, the release added: “nor is the agency seeking such authority.”

“It’s outrageous that this petition even went this far,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director.  “We applaud the EPA for its understanding of the law and its common sense in this situation — both of which were totally missing in the petition filed by these extreme anti-gun and anti-hunting groups.”

Because the EPA has no power to regulate ammunition, it will not move ahead with a public comment period on the petition.  However, a comment period will remain open until September 15 on the other part of the petition, which asks EPA to ban the use of lead in fishing sinkers.

Be sure to watch for more coverage of this important victory in next week’s Grassroots Alert and in NRA’s magazines.

It is an important victory, mainly from the EPA’s own admission that ammunition is outside their jurisdictional reach.  Otherwise, this just brings an issue to the end it inevitably faced sooner or later.  Had the EPA pursued this in this electoral cycle, they would have risked inspiring a bipartisan effort to defund the agency, which a Republican House may do anyway to stop enforcement of their ridiculous carbon-dioxide endangerment finding.

If the EPA actually thought this would make a great trial balloon, they found yet another use for lead.


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