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EPA Denies Anti-Hunting Group’s Latest Petition to Ban Traditional Ammunition

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday denied yet another frivolous petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) — an established anti-hunting group — calling for a ban on the traditional ammunition (containing lead-core components) for hunting and shooting.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, applauds the EPA’s latest decision and called upon Congress to immediately pass the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act (S.838/H.R.1558). In the House of Representatives, the bill is also included in the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089), an important piece of legislation that combines three other legislative priorities for sportsmen. The bill (S.838/H.R.1558) amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to clarify that the Congress has excluded traditional ammunition from regulation by the EPA. The legislation is supported by more than 35 national conservation and sportsmen’s groups. The bill is even supported by the Fraternal Order of Police because a ban on traditional ammunition would apply to law enforcement and the U.S. military.

NSSF opposed the petition, which was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and other like-minded groups. This was the second attempt by the CBD to ban traditional ammunition since it first petitioned the EPA in August of 2010. In rejecting the CBD’s latest petition the EPA agreed with NSSF, telling the CBD that it did not have jurisdiction under TSCA to regulate ammunition. The CBD’s petition purported to narrow the scope of the ban sought, but the EPA concluded that this change was a “distinction without a substantive difference.” The EPA went on to say the new petition “contains no new information.”

The CBD’s serial petitions erroneously claim that the use of traditional ammunition by hunters poses a danger to human health and wildlife, in particular raptor populations such as bald eagles. The truth is that wildlife populations, including raptor and bald eagle populations, are soaring. The myth of a human health risk has been thoroughly debunked by a 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that found the health of hunters consuming game harvested with traditional ammunition was not at risk.

The excise taxes raised from hunters’ purchases of the very ammunition the CBD tries to demonize is a primary source of wildlife conservation in the United States. Restricting or banning traditional ammunition absent sound science will hurt wildlife conservation. “Hunters have done more for wildlife than the CBD ever will,” said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. “These relentless and unfounded attacks against traditional ammunition by agenda-driven groups like the CBD are exactly why Congress must take immediate action and pass the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012.”

Keane is referencing the federal excise tax that manufacturers pay on the sale of the ammunition (11 percent), which is dedicated to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Photo: Matt Scott (Drab Makyo on flickr)

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  • Ken

    NOte that the Spotsmens’s Heritage Act mentioned above also will allow hunting in National Parks.  I feel there are a few places where my kids should be able to hike without  hunting where we can see some pretty cool wildife that is more aclimated.   By the way, you may not agree with the Center for biogical Diversity, but they are not anti-hunitng.   Likewise, non-lead ammo works very welll.  I have been using non-lead for big game for a long time, and they still die.   Amazing!   What does nln-lead have to do with anti-hunting???    Absolutely nonthing.  Yes raptor numbers are increaseing for certain species, but that doesn’t mean they should still die from  lead poisoning.

  • Mark

    Most hunting takes place in the fall when kids are in school and people are working.We have hunting here in one of our nearby provincial parks and I have never heard of any conflicts. The banning of lead bullets seems like a back door way of attacking hunting. I would like to see some figures on the number of raptors killed by lead poisoning before I would ever agree with a ban. If you are interested in promoting non-lead bullets I suggest you consider trying to convince hunters to switch rather than forcing them to change.