Time to Make Our Collective Voices Heard

Aug 26, 2010
Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency opened the public comment period on a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to ban all traditional ammunition and fishing tackle containing lead under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976.

Never mind the fact that ammunition was specifically exempted from the act, the CBD now says that the EPA should consider banning lead as a component of ammunition and not the final product exempted from the Act. Ditto tackle for recreational and commercial angling.

Despite any convoluted logic CBD employed in their petition, the EPA is required to accept or reject the petition by November 1, 2010 -coincidentally the day before the midterm elections.

As you've read here previously, there are serious concerns over the petition because the current director of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, has proven herself to be no friend of hunters or hunting. Hopefully, Mrs. Jackson has risen above the political aspects of the job, but there's no guarantee.

Because of that uncertainty, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is working to mobilize everyone in the shooting industry - that includes you and me - to participate in the public comment period and let the EPA know we're not looking favorable on that petition - or anyone who would support it.

Fortunately, NSSF has done the heavy lifting on making it easy to comment on the petition. If you choose to stress your opposition to this measure, NSSF has the following suggestions for points to stress:

There is no scientific evidence that the use of traditional ammunition is having the claimed adverse impact on wildlife

Wildlife management is the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the 50 state wildlife agencies, not the EPA

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

A ban would have a negative impact on wildlife conservation. The federal excise tax that manufacturers pay on the sales of ammunition (eleven percent) is a primary source of wildlife conservation funding. The bald eagle's recovery was made possible and paid and funded by hunters using traditional ammunition-the same ammo that the CBD is now demonizing.

Recent statistics from the USFWS show that from 1981 to 2006 the number of breeding pairs of bald eagles in the US increased 724 percent. Much like the bald eagle, raptor populations are soaring.

You can take several steps:
Comment online to the EPA- http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103637050212&s=7728&e=0010BoOgr4M3Jkc1r964lWRylFjhzJTy0xHgHctguJbHdY_CN3dpPd5sMTTkwqZwvJoTUbz9zZpKJUst3mzC6f4rH9q3fhsGlDLYQNsGUmMHtzX6XwSse6F_1wAtOcZ4GGl-qEg2kbDKq4HLls-x9rs76bX-P85r5-M5OCiLTOV8X5rjYoNcnpUC9FweWqWg7QvEaspbmrOwiI=>here's the link

Comment directly to Administrator Lisa Jackson either by writing, calling or email at the address below: Lisa P. Jackson
Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-4700
Fax: (202) 501-1450
Email: jackson.lisa@epa.gov

You can also contact your senators and representatives and tell them to use their not-inconsiderable influence to stop the EPA from banning traditional ammunition. It might not hurt to gently - and tactfully- remind those elected officials that an announcement on the petition is scheduled for the day BEFORE the midterm elections.

It's not often that we add our voice to a call for public action, but this is another of those times when our elected officials and public administrators need to be reminded that there are millions of us "out here" and we're expecting them to represent our interests.

- Jim Shepherd