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As environmentalists battle to ban the use of lead in ammunition and fishing tackle out of concern for wildlife and their habitats, several U.S. lawmakers have rushed to defend the tools of hunters and fishermen with a new bill to shield such items from regulation.

Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont, and John Thune, R-S.D., co-chairmen of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, unveiled this week legislation to clarify the longstanding exemption of ammunition and its components under the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which allows the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate "chemical substances" under certain circumstances.

Citing tax revenue as justification, the lawmakers say a ban would lead to higher excise taxes on more expensive bullets that would price out many hunters and fisherman.

"Hunting, shooting and fishing are more than just pastimes in Montana – they're part of our outdoor heritage," Tester said. "They're Montana values that we pass on to our kids and grandkids. And I'll fight for those values whenever Washington D.C.'s rules get in the way of commons sense."

"Outdoor activities, including hunting and fishing, not only provide recreational opportunities, but also greatly contribute to South Dakota's economy," Thune said. "The EPA's overreaching regulations in other areas are already negatively affecting jobs and businesses across the country, and I am committed to ensuring that ammunition and tackle do not become subject to arbitrary regulation."

A coalition of conservation groups is suing the Environmental Protection Agency to force a ban. They call the lawmakers' legislation "misguided" at best.

"I think it's sad," said Adam Keats, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity who is the lead attorney on the EPA lawsuit. "It's a pathetic move by elected officials who are ignoring facts, science and putting the health of the people in this country in harm's way just to appeal to a very well-heeled, wealthy lobby: the gun lobby."

"I think the bill is ridiculous," said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate with the center, which is leading the coalition of green activists. "I think it's a waste of taxpayer money. It's trying to prolong the inevitable. Lead is going to go away."

The coalition filed a lawsuit in November after the EPA rejected its petition last summer that argued the use of lead in ammo and tackle is poisoning the nation's lakes, ponds and forests. The EPA said it lacked the authority to regulate lead in ammunition and added that shells and cartridges are excluded from the definition of "chemical substances" in the toxic act.

Now environmentalists find themselves in a skirmish with lawmakers, the EPA and gun rights groups.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and hunting industry, says a ban on traditional ammunition would imperil the financial health of wildlife conservation, since the 11 percent federal excise tax that manufacturers pay on the sale of ammunition is a primary source of conservation funding.

But environmentalists call that argument a "nonstarter."

"I guarantee that if the EPA were to ban lead ammunition, there would be no difference in the excise tax taken by federal officials," Keats said. "It's not a rational argument. The premise requires you to believe hundreds of thousands of people who are not allowed to use lead ammunition will instead give up hunting."

Miller said the excise tax equally applies to ammunition sold regardless of its composition.

"Sales of copper-based ammunition brings in just as much money for conservationists," he said. "It's a nonissue. That tax would continue."

The foundation also says higher costs associated with alternative ammunition will price everyday consumers out of the market, pointing to the 1 percent market share of alternative ammunition.

"The economic growth of America's firearms and ammunition industry continues to be a bright spot in our country's still-ailing economy," said Lawrence Kean, senior vice president and general counsel to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "Passing this important legislation will help to ensure that our industry, which is responsible for more than 183,000 well-paying jobs and has an economic impact of more than $27.8 billion annually, continues to shine."

But Keats dismissed that as "cynical lies being perpetrated by these guys."

"It's not about anything they're saying it's about," he said.

Miller said EPA was legally wrong to reject the coalition's petition and believes the agency turned its back on the issue because it was a "hot potato" before the midterm election.

"They fully have the right to regulate lead ammunition," he said, adding that trying to argue against that is "sticking your head in the sand."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/201...lead-ammunition-fishing-tackle/#ixzz1KTVHgXbu
 

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So the government is fighting the Environmentalists. Isn't that what you would want to have happen in a stupid demand.
The amount of lead that enters a lake from a fishing sinker is so minute that it is rediculous to waste the paper to write a law even considering a ban. The same goes for a bullet. Lead is not nearly as much of a pollutant when in solid form as when it is in paint or gasoline. This is why we have exemptions for these uses.
 

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I have mixed feelings on this. When you consider 1 sinker or 1 load of birdshot it is insignificant.

When you consider 50+ years of this, it does add up. I have no issues with doing something to help the environment that makes sense. Banning lead sinkers and bullets will not increase the cost of fishing and hunting very much. Many manufacturers already offer lead free ammo as it is.
 

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Lead ammunition is already IIlegal in California

It has been for quite some time now :nuts:
 

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I think a more productive use of banning lead would be to ban it from the asses in the seats in Congress.
 

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I have mixed feelings on this. When you consider 1 sinker or 1 load of birdshot it is insignificant.

When you consider 50+ years of this, it does add up. I have no issues with doing something to help the environment that makes sense. Banning lead sinkers and bullets will not increase the cost of fishing and hunting very much. Many manufacturers already offer lead free ammo as it is.
:agree: The fishing and hunting companies will spend more $ fighting this than it takes to just impliment it.
 

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What about those that do thier own reloading, or make thier own sinkers, shot, etc. ?
 

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I have mixed feelings on this. When you consider 1 sinker or 1 load of birdshot it is insignificant.

When you consider 50+ years of this, it does add up. I have no issues with doing something to help the environment that makes sense. Banning lead sinkers and bullets will not increase the cost of fishing and hunting very much. Many manufacturers already offer lead free ammo as it is.
Sinkers even many years worth of them lost at the bottom of a lake do not add lead to the water in any way that we or wildlife could take in. The water would not absorb these sinkers and so they would basicly be what they were before they were mined and truned into a lead sinker...a naturaly occuring substance.

I think the same goes for bird shot....remember that lead comes from the ground. While we don't need to be drinking from it or eating from it or putting into the air we breath when it will simply return to the ground where it came from I see no harm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree with that. The amount in paint was negligible and amounted to the same scare and worries as DDT.
 

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no, but the soil does absorb it and the fish/birds eat what eat the plants....

there are many many options avail for those that reload that do not involve lead, you just have to open your eyes and look around.
 

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no, but the soil does absorb it and the fish/birds eat what eat the plants....

there are many many options avail for those that reload that do not involve lead, you just have to open your eyes and look around.
We have 200 years of history, show me the dead bodies, related to lead poison from fish/game...
 

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Yep, I'm quite certain that if I ever put a lead .45 ACP in someone's brain that it would not give them lead poisoning. If it's a law in California it's a joke. I think that all states should just look at California laws and do the opposite. It would probably make for a reasonable legal system.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I agree with that also.
 

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It's already banned in fishing weights and waterfowl loads. Unless hunters are shooting at swimming deer, I think it is a bad idea. Steel ammunition goes thru a lot more walls and people... Lead was chosen because of cost and near full transfer of impact to the primary target. Steel, for example, is great at shooting people on the other side of the door. Or so I heard...
 

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Steel jacketed baby, steel jacketed. The jacket gets them through the door and the lead expands on impact with the fleshy stuff. Best of both worlds, it is.
 

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Lead has been out of our waterfowl loads for years here. And a lot of the fishing weights have been moving to brass. My understanding was that with regards to the lead fishing weights, the birds were eating them and causing higher than usual mortality rates. I don't know if that is true or not, just what I heard once.

My experience with the brass fishing weights is fine, nothing to report really. My personal experience with steel shot is that it does not have the takedown power that lead does (not even close IMO). There are a lot of alternatives on the market though. On the other side of that coin however is the cost. The steel alternatives; Tungsten, Nickel and the like are more expensive $15/box of 10 and on up from there. I couldn't say what kind of damage it does to my gun barrels as I do not do enough waterfowl hunting for it to be measurable.
 

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My personal experience with steel shot is that it does not have the takedown power that lead does (not even close IMO). There are a lot of alternatives on the market though.
Maybe they should use the same material the Army's A-10 Warthog uses to kill tanks - spent uranium. Lots of penetrating power there. :laughing:
 
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