Are lead bullets on their way out?


Author:  Damien M. Schiff

Earlier this month, the Center for Biological Diversity submitted a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency requesting that the latter ban lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle.  CBD submitted the petition pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act.  The petition concedes that EPA is forbidden under the Act to regulate ammunition; nevertheless, the petition argues:

toxic components of ammunition can be regulated if nontoxic alternatives are commercially available. The petitioners have waited until nontoxic alternatives have become available to submit this petition in an effort to clearly indicate that this petition is not an attempt to regulate ammunition or firearms.

If EPA grants the petition, it will be interesting to see whether the ban is challenged on the grounds of an impermissible regulation of ammunition, especially in light of the Act's exhortation to EPA "consider the environmental, economic, and social impact of any action the [EPA] takes or proposes to take under" the Act.