National Shooting Sports Foundation Continues to Fight Back Against Attacks on Traditional Ammo

Earlier this month, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), along with 100 other like-minded organizations, filed yet another petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that seeks to ban America’s sportsmen and women from using traditional ammunition (ammo with lead-core components).

As reported, the petition states that more than 75 species, including the California condor and bald eagle, are harmed by feeding on carcasses of animals that have been killed by hunters using lead ammunition.

In response to the petition, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is urging congress to pass the “Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012″ (H.R. 4089).

NSSF-logoH.R. 4089 is a comprehensive reform bill that contains a measure – the Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (H.R. 1558) – which would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to clarify the jurisdiction of the EPA with “respect to certain sporting good articles, and to exempt those articles from a definition under that Act.”

In short, it would remove the EPA’s power to regulate traditional ammunition and fishing tackle.

With respect to claims that traditional ammunition harms wildlife or hunters, the NSSF referenced a 2008 study conducted 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.”

“These relentless and unfounded attacks against traditional ammunition by agenda-driven groups such as the CBD are exactly why Congress must take immediate action and pass the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012,” said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane.

“Needlessly restricting or banning traditional ammunition absent sound science will hurt wildlife conservation efforts as fewer hunters take to the field. Let’s not forget, hunters and their ammunition have done more for wildlife than the CBD ever will,” Keane added.

condor-birdIn the above quote, Keane is referencing the federal excise tax that manufactures pay on the sale of ammunition, which is 11 percent.  The revenue generated from this tax is a primary source of wildlife conservation funding in the U.S.

Since 1937 when the tax was instituted, more than $6.4 billion has been raised from firearms and ammunition manufacturers benefiting wildlife restoration and hunter education, according to Keane.

The EPA has approximately two months to review the latest CBD petition and decide whether its claims have merit.  If the EPA finds the petition credible, it will begin a rule-making process that will include public hearings and comments.

In the past, the EPA rejected the CBD’s 2010 petition, prompting a CBD lawsuit that is still pending.

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