Enviros petition EPA to ban lead in ammunition … again

posted at 9:50 am on March 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Hot Air readers will recall the first time enviros decided to try this back door on gun control in August 2010, as Democrats approached a disastrous midterm.  After getting petitioned to overrule law and declare itself a regulating agency on hunting, the EPA opened a comment period on the petition that would have ended two days before voters went to the polls.  Within 72 hours, the EPA withdrew the petition, stating that it agreed with the NRA and the firearms industry that it “does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA),” and that they weren’t interested in seeking that authority, either.

Well, the enviros are back with another attempt to get the EPA to regulate ammunition (via Instapundit).  Think they’re still disinterested in seeking that authority?

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.

The application to range shooting should be another tip-off.  While some ranges are open-air, few if any wild animals would graze on the range to consume the spent rounds, and fewer yet would be around to consume them.  They’re not interested in protecting the environment from lead; they want to use the EPA to make it much more difficult and expensive for gun owners to buy ammunition by having the agency seize the authority to regulate a key component of firearms.

I asked if the EPA would find an interest in expanding its authority to include hunting and range fishing with this second opportunity.  I believe the answer will be no, since this is another election year, and the last thing Barack Obama and Democrats need is another reason for gun owners to organize even more enthusiastically against them.  But if Obama wins a second term, don’t be surprised if the third time’s the charm.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

listens2glenn on March 18, 2012 at 2:57 PM

I’m not familiar with steel jacketed uses for military rounds. I’m like you though. I shoot a ballistic tip 30.06 that I load myself. It’s designed to not come out unless it pulls a lung with it.

hawkdriver on March 18, 2012 at 11:51 PM

Jack insisted that a proper bullet for the game you’re after should NOT exit the opposite side of the animal.

While that expends all the energy within the body, it reduces the odds of getting a good blood trail, which is significant because a lot of game is taken in the last hour of legal hunting hours, and in addition most game runs some distance. Even a short distance in heavy undergrowth and deadfall can be a problem. In addition where I hunt in NW Montana elk are always on the menu. Even the heavy ribs can cause failure with ballistic tips and their thin jackets. I know, many elk were taken with before the advent of bonded bullets, but how many were lost —and how many are still lost?

Personal defense rounds are a whole different matter. Unless you’re shooting through glass or car doors (generally not self defense situations) I think fast expanding, non bonded bullets are the answer. Ranger SXTs in 45 APC or 357 SIG are awesome. Remember, the 357 Mag semi-jacketed hollow point was king until the advent of high capacity, reliable semiautomatic weapons.

claudius on March 18, 2012 at 11:56 PM

A well shot animal with a messed up boiler doesn’t run far.

hawkdriver on March 19, 2012 at 12:16 AM

While that expends all the energy within the body, it reduces the odds of getting a good blood trail, which is significant because a lot of game is taken in the last hour of legal hunting hours, and in addition most game runs some distance. Even a short distance in heavy undergrowth and deadfall can be a problem.

claudius
on March 18, 2012 at 11:56 PM

.
Jack’s idea was that the deer wouldn’t run AT ALL, or more than a few jumps, anyway.
This was all expressed in his last writing “The Shooter’s Guide”, that was sold in a ‘packaged deal’ with two other books.
I believe he did say in that same publication, that he used more “controlled expansion” bullets for Elk, Moose, Caribou, and Grizzly Bear. I don’t remember any specifications on ‘bullet expansion’, for Wild Sheep or Mountain Goat.

I’ve since lost my copy of “The Shooter’s Guide”, and man do I miss it.

listens2glenn on March 19, 2012 at 12:42 AM

I always hope they won’t run, too, A couple of years ago I put a 7mm Mag Scirocco bonded in a deer from probably 20 yards. He sort of trotted maybe 20 yards. On inspection the bullet had cut a nice furrow in the lower part of his heart. Short of taking out the central nervous system there are no guarantees. When I still had a 243 (there was no bonded ammo in that caliber at the time) I put a ballistic tip in an antelope’s boiler room from about 150 yards. He didn’t run, but didn’t go down either. It turned out the bullet had struck a rib and sort of put a dent in him while sending fragments into the chest cavity.

I sold that rifle and got a Kimber in 308. The first year out it took two mulies using 180gr Blackhills Accubonds. I could actually see internal matter ejecting from the offside on the buck. Both kills were very convincing. That Blackhills load is used by snipers for barricaded subjects or for shooting through glass. It’s accuracy is close to that of Federal Gold Match 175s in my heavy barreled 308. In the Kimber it was still under 1 MOA for 3 shots, and the rifle only weighs 6.5 lbs full up.

claudius on March 19, 2012 at 1:13 AM

I sold that rifle and got a Kimber in 308.

claudius on March 19, 2012 at 1:13 AM

.
I’d like to have a Savage M99 in .308.
I can’t afford one right now, but that doesn’t stop me from checking used gun displays at everyplace that has them.
And I can’t help but notice that Savage M99s are getting harder to come buy.

listens2glenn on March 19, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Hey!

Bmore on March 21, 2012 at 9:59 PM

I am trying to learn how to make short links. I needed somewhere to practice. Stop laughing.

Bmore on March 21, 2012 at 10:03 PM

I am trying to learn how to make short links. I needed somewhere to practice. Stop your laughing.

Bmore on March 21, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Okay, you can laugh.

Bmore on March 21, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Nice laugh!

Bmore on March 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Nice laugh!

Bmore on March 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM

.
I’m silently staring at you with a ‘blank poker-face’.
.
.
Try again.

listens2glenn on March 23, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4