Free Markets, Free People

If you can’t do it by law, do it by regulatory fiat

And the EPA seems to be the regulatory agency most bent on doing just that.   Attempting to regulate carbon emissions, apparently, isn’t enough for the EPA.  Now, it has decided, it may want to ban lead ammunition:

With the fall hunting season fast approaching, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Lisa Jackson, who was responsible for banning bear hunting in New Jersey, is now considering a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) – a leading anti-hunting organization – to ban all traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976, a law in which Congress expressly exempted ammunition.  If the EPA approves the petition, the result will be a total ban on all ammunition containing lead-core components, including hunting and target-shooting rounds. The EPA must decide to accept or reject this petition by November 1, 2010, the day before the midterm elections.

Note the emphasized portion of the cite (emphasis mine).  Now that would tell me, as a regulator, that this is outside the scope of my regulatory power to ban, or even address in any meaningful way.

Yet the EPA has decided that it does indeed have the power to do what the law forbids.

It is yet another example of government refusing to obey its own laws (ICE’s refusal to detain and deport illegal aliens found in traffic stops being another recent example).

This is being driven by an agenda, not law.  And this goes to the heart of the question of whether we’re a nation of laws or a nation of men who can arbitrarily deicide what laws to follow or not, according to their agenda (and the power they hold).

The National Shooting Sports Foundation points out:

* There is no scientific evidence that the use of traditional ammunition is having an adverse impact on wildlife populations.

* Wildlife management is the proper jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the 50 state wildlife agencies.

* A 2008 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on blood lead levels of North Dakota hunters confirmed that consuming game harvested with traditional ammunition does not pose a human health risk.

* A ban on traditional ammunition would have a negative impact on wildlife conservation. The federal excise tax that manufacturers pay on the sale of the ammunition (11 percent) is a primary source of wildlife conservation funding. The bald eagle’s recovery, considered to be a great conservation success story, was made possible and funded by hunters using traditional ammunition – the very ammunition organizations like the CBD are now demonizing.

* Recent statistics from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service show that from 1981 to 2006 the number of breeding pairs of bald eagles in the United States increased 724 percent. And much like the bald eagle, raptor populations throughout the United States are soaring.

The EPA is accepting comment on this petition now.

If you’re so inclined you can include yours here.

Be respectful but be blunt – the law forbids this – back off.



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23 Responses to If you can’t do it by law, do it by regulatory fiat

  • Lisa Jackson heads the EPA.  She is nuts. She believes racial madness right up there with the notion that AIDS was developed to kill A-A men.
    This is the lady who Obama picked to head one of the most powerful agencies in the U.S., and she is totally out of control.

    • It’s great, isn’t it. Let them ban lead. Not for the children or the critters, but for the Nov 2010 midterms.

  • “The EPA must decide to accept or reject this petition by November 1, 2010, the day before the midterm elections.”
    Nice timing.

  • A nation of Laws?   There is no Rule of Law in this cuontry any longer, hasn’t been since the first government agency was established and allowed to create public policy and regulations, and Admiralty Law was allowed to take precendent over Common Law in US Courts.  Vote them ALL out this election, Republicans and Democrats alike and vote in candidates in “third parties” or independants that will uphold the Rule of Law and the Constitution.

  • Time to stock up on ammo!——CONEY

  • If lead ammunition, not to mention other forms of lead fabricated and used by man,  was actually dangerous parts of western Europe would be uninhabited wastelands.

    • And how many generations of children across the world have played with toy soldiers and other toys made of lead?
      This is more radical madness from the people who were going to “restore respect for science”, but who have done the exact opposite.
      As predicted.

  • and to make it more interesting – care to bet that law enforcement and other (armed) government agencies would be exempt?

  • If the Redumlicans take back the Senate they need to hold hearings on all these bastards who are overstepping their authority.   But they won’t, there never was a bigger coward in all history as an elected Republican.

    • I hope…and expect…that very good attorneys are watching this carefully, and beginning to draw up the law suits that will reverse these fascist bastards.  The courts are not neutered, and still stand as a line of defense, as does our elected (please, God) legislature.
      At the end of the day, we have simple civil disobedience.  Stock up on ammo and bar lead.

  • The EPA hasn’t “decided it wants to” do anything.
    The Toxic Substances Control Act requires the EPA to accept petitions.
    Merely accepting it for comment is not the EPA taking a position – and note that the EPA hasn’t thrown it out as inapplicable on its face because the petition also talks about fishing weights, which are not exempt under TSCA.
    If EPA makes regulations that violate TSCA, then every ammunition maker and shooter in the country has standing to sue for harm and a slam-dunk case of the EPA exceeding its statutory authority. So I don’t see that happening, you know?

    • No one said they had. And, further, nothing compels them to take comments on petitions which are in contravention of existing law. Had they announced the comment period dealt only with fishing weights then this wouldn’t be a story, would it?

  • (And, that said, commenting that they should certainly not attempt to do things they can’t legally do is not a bad idea.
    Telling them to not ban lead fishing weights, which they can do, is probably also a fine idea and scientifically supportable.)

  • Hey, they also think that milk is an environmental hazard like petroleum and exhaling is killing the planet. President Bush used to restrain these guys, President Obama cheers them on.

  • [B]an all traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976, a law in which Congress expressly exempted ammunition. 

    I’m sorry, but am I supposed to infer that the law has some fixed meaning that should be heeded by federal bureaucrats?

    / sarc

    Part of the problem is that the Congress is generally perfectly happy with letting unelected functionaries do this sort of thing because it lets congresscritters off the hook.  In a happier time, the weirdoes at CBD would have to get a member of Congress to present legislation to ban lead ammunition.  No sane member of Congress would EVER want to even be asked to do such a thing as it would be electoral suicide in any but the most dark-blue, pot-addled districts.  But congresscritters discovered that they can leave such nasty, perilous decisions to the executive branch, and they’re perfectly happy that way.  Look at the health care and financial takeover laws: they are chock-a-block with phrases such as “the secretary shall determine” and “the commission shall establish”.  Why should members of Congress sully their hands with actually making (yech!) DECISIONS that could be used against them at election time when they can simply keep quiet and let some administrator do the dirty work?

  • Ball points in the ball point pen have to be made of lead – needs to be soft to machine.

  • If ammo sales boom, will this count as jobs saved or created?—-CONEY

    • “…If ammo sales boom…”,
      …hopefully, this whole crazy idea will be “…shot.”      *Rimshot Pleeez*
      (sorry, I couldn’t resist the Rip Torn moment)

  • I would like to see the section of the Toxic Substances Control Act that exempts ammunition from EPA regulation.  Can you provide the citation?
    Thank you.

  • Technically, I’m an ammunition manufacturer.  I do it for three reasons.  First, my handholds are more accurate than commercial ammo. Second, it’s much cheaper, which means I shoot more.  Third, it frees me from being controlled by these idiots in Washington.  Anyone interested in reloading can get a bare bones system for about $150.  Don’t buy a kit.

    Since 1964, I have been casting my own practice pistol bullets out of wheel weights which are 95.5% lead, 0.5% tin and 4% antimony.  To harden them up, I add 30″ of tin solder.  This brings the metal to 92% lead, 4% tin and 4% antimony – sold by Lyman as alloy #2.

    To lessen the lead fouling, I use bullet lube – beeswax and aluminum oxide that you can buy from Lee Precision.  There’s a capital investment of about $120 in a dirty pot and a clean lead pot and sizers plus $20 for a 2-cavity to $40 per 6-cavity mold.  If you shoot enough to stay proficient, investing in casting equipment is very economical (e.g., a commercial 230 grain 45ACP lead projectile costs 10¢; a lead cast slug, 1¢).  In a morning, I can churn out about 500 bullets.

    All the local tire shops have my 5 gallon paint cans that, when full, hold 200 pounds.  When they fill one up, I get a call and pay them $40.  There’s some waste, but I get about 5,000 45 ACP bullets per can.  At 100 rounds per week, that’s almost a year’s worth of bullets.  In 9MM double that.

    For those worried about lead, it’s a pretty stable element.  The hazard is from lead oxide that takes quite a while to form naturally.  Tin solder is much more toxic.