Environmentalists Petition The EPA To Get Into The Gun Control Business Again

Ammunition

It seems to me that the potential for the EPA to become a sort of national government unto itself indexes directly to how many issues they can into environmental issues. Defining the air we exhale as a “dangerous pollutant” is one step toward regulating everything we do, so why not grant themselves the authority to regulate ammunition under the guise of regulating toxic substances?

The last time this stunt was pulled the EPA ended up caving to the NRA and the gun industry, conceding that it doesn’t have the authority to regulate ammo under the Toxic Substances Control Act, but since when have environmentalists ever given up that easily?

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.

It’s an election year, better yet a Presidential election year, so I don’t see Obama giving the EPA free rein to tick off the pro-gun crowd. But if he wins re-election and doesn’t have to worry about ever being elected again?

You can be sure you’ll hear about this issue again.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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