House Republicans passed legislation giving hunters and fishing enthusiasts access to certain public lands and blocked the EPA from banning lead for use in ammunition.
…The House on Tuesday [April] passed legislation giving hunters and fishing enthusiasts access to certain public lands to pursue their sport and also blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from banning lead for use in ammunition and fishing tackle.
The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act passed on a mostly party line vote of 274 yeas and 146 nays.
Republicans argued that the ability of sportsmen and women to fish and shoot on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service is being threatened by the Obama administration and environmentalists through bureaucratic regulations.
Republicans also said that banning lead bullets and tackle would cause economic harm to the recreation industry and kill jobs.
“It would be a massive power grab by the EPA without a clear lack of legal authority, but has that ever stopped the EPA under this administration? Sadly, it hasn’t,” said Rep. Doc Hastings (R–Wash.) chairman of the House Resources Committee…Keep reading…
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has banned lead shot for waterfowl hunting, as it could end up at the bottom of streams and lakes poisoning animals there. California has banned it in big game hunting and coyote hunting in their state. One of the animals that they are most concerned about is the California condor, an endangered species.
Studying the issue is fine but the EPA needs to stay out of it. Individual states are perfectly capable of handling the issue within their own states. For now, the EPA has bowed to the NRA on this issue and has rejected a petition to ban lead ammo.
In May, The Center for Biological Diversity, Grand Canyon Wildlands Council and Sierra Club have announced their combined intention to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service for failing to protect endangered California condors from toxic lead poisoning in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest.
Fish & Wildlife has reported that condors eating carcasses that have been killed with lead shot is the leading cause of the deaths of condors in the Grand Canyon.
There are problems with lead-free ammo for hunters. It is double the price, many guns would have to be retrofitted, and lead-free ammo causes guns to wear out more quickly. Lead-free ammo can be made of bismouth or steel. Guess what – they’re poisonous too. Herein lies the real problem. This will never stop until there is no ammo.
This is an election year and I don’t believe the administration wants to address this until after the election. The lawsuit is untimely for them.
Europe uses the lead issue to ban hunting.
A summary of research on lead ammo –
Fox News:…The lead in ammunition has never been shown to produce any health hazards, but a ban would produce a real health hazard, making it much more difficult for people to use guns to defend themselves [lead-free is lighter and has less momentum].
During the Clinton administration, when the risks of lead ammunition were seriously debated, the EPA found no cause for concern. Research by William Marcus, Senior Science Advisor in the EPA’s Office of Science and Technology, in a letter dated December 25, 1999, stated his findings: the claim that “lead based ammunition is hazardous is in error.” Lead on the soil surface “does not break down. . . . [it] does not pose an environmental or human hazard. . . . In water lead acts much the same as in soil . . . .” The hazards don’t exist for indoor shooting ranges any more than they do for outdoor ranges.
Eating food shot with lead ammunition isn’t a problem. A 2008 study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted blood tests on 736 hunters, found that lead ammunition produced very small changes in lead exposure, with concentrations well below CDC benchmark levels of concern, and posed no discernible risk to human health…Read more…
There was a time when environmental extremists wanted to ban lead sinkers and the fisherman rebelled, rightfully so. The fisherman won that battle.
Environmentalists, real ones, are valued, but the extremism is a problem.