Federal Appellate Court Rules in Favor of Second Amendment

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EPA Cannot Regulate Content of Ammunition; Dismisses Anti-hunting Groups’ Lawsuit Seeking to Ban Traditional Ammunition

Hunters and shooters in several states have been subjected to higher ammunition costs due to a lead ammunition ban based on dubious information about condors and other birds of prey. The original justification for the ban was that lead ammunition left in the carcass of a legally harvested game animal was suddenly hurting birds of prey. The only birds known to suffer or die from lead poisoning was the at the hands of some bozo that illegally shot them and not from scavenging from a carcass. After all lead, a naturally occurring element, can be found in the bloodstream of all animals in minute levels—and testing did not show any more lead in captive animals than those in the wild. But who needs facts and logic when you can pass a political agenda based on misinformation?

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After the antis found success in liberal states such as California and Oregon, the antis sought to spread the backdoor assault on the Second Amendment by spreading the ban of traditional lead ammunition. To do so, the anti-hunting groups petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to become involved. The EPA refused to weigh in the matter, so the Antis tried to force the issue by filing suit in federal Court.

Fortunately, the courts recognized the ruse and recently the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the dismissal of the latest lawsuit brought by anti-hunting groups petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue regulations banning traditional ammunition with lead components. This is a victory for more than simply hunters. The suit sought to ban all outdoor lead ammunition use. That would have affected hunters, plinkers and target shooters. Traditional ammunition represents 95 percent of the U.S. market and is the staple ammunition for target shooters, hunters and law enforcement with more than 14 billion rounds sold annually.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, joined the lawsuit on the side of the EPA to ensure that interests of industry and hunters were properly represented. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the EPA had properly dismissed the petition filed under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The petitioners appealed that ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which heard the case in late October.

The EPA has consistently denied repeated attempts by anti-hunting groups led by the extremist Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to have the agency ban traditional ammunition, and the court had dismissed an earlier case brought by CBD seeking the same relief. The latest suit simply added more parties.

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Photo courtesy of

“This latest iteration of a frivolous lawsuit is essentially the same as those dismissed earlier and equally without merit,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We are pleased the Court of Appeals considered the legal merits in this case and has now ruled that Congress has not given the EPA the authority to regulate ammunition and putting an end to efforts by anti-hunting zealots to end America’s hunting heritage.”

CBD’s serial petitioning of EPA and its repeated lawsuits are intended to begin shutting down hunting and the shooting sports in America by banning the ammunition that millions of hunters and target shooters choose to use safely and responsibly.

“There is quite simply no sound science that shows the use of traditional ammunition has harmed wildlife populations or that it presents a health risk to humans who consume game taken with such ammunition,” said Keane. “Banning traditional ammunition would cost tens of thousands of jobs in America and destroy wildlife conservation that is funded in part by an 11 percent excise tax on the sale of ammunition. The protection and management of wildlife is properly handled by the professional biologists in the state fish and game agencies, as it has been for over a hundred years.”

In addition to NSSF, the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International and the Association of Battery Recyclers intervened in the case.

Organizations that joined CBD in its lawsuit were the Cascades Raptor Center of Oregon, the Loon Lake Loon Association of Washington, Preserve Our Wildlife of Florida, Tennessee Ornithological Society, Trumpeter Swan Society and Western Nebraska Resources Council.

What do you think the antis will try next? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section.


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Comments (28)

  1. Well done fellow US hunters,& firearm owners!!!!!

    This decision of your court will help us here in NZ get rid of the hated steel shot for waterfowl hunting.

    Thank you very much for fighting the tree huggers. Hopefully we can get a similar result here.????

  2. Oh, yeah. You’re right, of course, and you didn’t have to expend any mental energy at all to come to those conclusions. Asbestos and radioactive materials are naturally occurring on Earth but they don’t kill anyone either. God won’t let ’em!


    And the CWA went light years ahead in taking care of—as best it could, by making the dumpers pony up instead of taxpayers like yourself— over 40 years ago.

    Again, brilliant, Dick.

  3. Condors here in Southern California are harmed by broken glass and metal objects, they are attracted to eating shinny things. Some have died with a belly full of glass. No lead has been found. No matter, lead is banned here for hunting by the California EPA, a self serving extra-contitutional government overlord.
    Ranges make money recycling the lead here. About a ton a week is pulled out of my local indoor range, sold for profit like the brass.

  4. I am a hunter. Since I only use lead-free ammunition because of its well documented toxic impacts to waterfowl, raptors and people, reading this article was a trip down the rabbit hole. Readers should do their own research. The best science is peer reviewed science. The information in this article is not science. It is knee jerk, reactionary propaganda. There is nothing “sudden” about the impacts on raptors. Hunters who care about the environment do not ask for a repeal of the lead shot ban for waterfowl. Those hunters work to educate others on the toxic impacts of lead.

    1. Show us your evidence Tom. Waterfowl and raptors are two different creatures. Yes, the effects on waterfowl has been documented, but not on other species, particularly when lead levels in the bloodstream are higher in captive specimens than those in the wild. ~Dave Dolbee

    2. Torn salo, I have to ask. Did you EVER consider that the articles that you were reading were written by leftwing nutjobs that ended up getting p[eople like you on their side when in reallity, there is NO PROBLEM? Is that a possibility and IF you say NO, then I know that you are biased. Its not like we would have some leftwing nutjob lying to everyone just to get their agendas through, no way, not even global warming or anything else like ALL of the crap they put out. ANYONE that trust a leftwiong written article, is a fool w/o doing their own research. I never would have done that before the lie’s in this admin began to appear. However, almost every story that you see in favor of the leftwing was written by a leftwing nut and of course we can believe them, right? (sarcasm).

    3. Where we live, we have Condors and Turkey Vultures. If the lead had harmed these birds ( by they way, both are vultures ). Turkey vultures would be dropping out of the sky! But they aren’t. Tom people have been eating animals that were shot with lead Ammo for years. There is no proof the lead in hunting has increased harm to the environment. In fact lead is one of the natural elements found on this planet. Same as oil, in some places oil naturally runs out of the earth, with no harm to the vegetation, that grows in abundance, around the crude oil. This oil was never pumped from the ground. This oil has flowed for centuries from the ground.

    4. Tom – I am a leftwing ‘nutjob’ as described by many – I target shoot, and I have to wonder; If lead is poisonous for a human to handle and we have to wash our hands after handling our ammo – why then would the Red Right not think it was harmful to the environment just to shoot it into a hillside? I commend you for at least TRYING to do the right thing and be aware of what you are eating. You’ll live longer, and Ma Earth thanks you. The rest of you are head scratchers – if you could invent a bullet that wasn’t lead, that was still accurate and formidable – you would do it, and you should do it. It has nothing to do with Politics, wingnuts…

  5. Thank-you to those who fight for our Rights. We can expect more ammo-related attacks in the future, especially as the Boobberg crowd loses ground on firearm issues.
    As i recall from some medical training, lead is not so quickly and easily absorbed. The expose must be fairly consistent and at sufficient levels. Even then it must build up over time before becoming dangerous. Still, though not a proven danger, lead is no longer used to solder our fresh water pipes, mainly driven by hysteria and propaganda. It was easier for the plumbing companies to change than fight. Will our ammo meet a similar challenge, yes it could. But ammo will always be available in some form and ammo companies will find new ways to skin the cat. Remember the lead in our gasoline? Was it truly dangerous? This could still be argued. That said, what happened? New additives an designs allowed for the internal combustion engine to bang along just fine, even the old ones.

  6. All I can say is….”I`m not surprised” I`m sure glad the Appeals courts came up with the only legitimate outcome it could. That being said, the “anti-gunner” morons. like Bloomberg, and his minions, will NEVER stop spending GOBS of money trying.

    1. What this proves is that as long as someone fights this admins BS, we normally win. They have lost so many cases including the supreme court and every otjher court, all it takes is filing and someone knowledgable enough to fight the fight.
      This admin is SO CORRUPT.

    1. Jason,
      It only applies in the sense that the EPA is not going to directly get involved. At this time it does not reverse or strike down earlier laws made by the state. It does however, give a glimpse as to the court’s thinking on the matter which is encouraging for hunters and shooters. The goal now, is to challenge more legislation and get a ruling from the court that does strike the lead ammunition ban in its entirety. ~Dave Dolbee

  7. The EPA is involved in more than just the lead bullets and shot. Gun ranges near me won’t let you pick up your spent rounds because they are considered contaminated waste. The range workers must wear protective gear to police the range. I don’t shoot at regulated ranges anymore.

    1. Not licking lead paint anymore are you? They won’t let you pick up the brass on the inside of the range because it IS WASTE, with lead inside. Not good for you – they also pick it up more cautiously than you would and probably make profit on it without telling you – has NOTHING to do with the EPA.

  8. My new Weatherby came with a disclaimer not to use steel shot. That has pretty much restricted it to the trap and skeet ranges and limited its versatility. What about copper alloys? Anybody have a clue? I haven’t heard from them as yet.

  9. The court’s decision can be summed up even more simply than the article does. In short, the court concluded that spent lead from bullets or shot is not a “chemical substance” that the EPA can regulate under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

    Whether or not lead actually harms the environment wasn’t even an issue in this case. Instead, based on the clear language of the statute at issue, the EPA did not have the authority to regulate lead from spent shells or cartridges. Accordingly, the EPA could not, as a legal matter, grant the petitioners the relief they sought.

  10. So, how do we get the law banning lead shot for migratory game (ducks) repealed? Is anybody doing anything about this; or would the manufacturers of the Heavy Lead, Bizmith, etc fight it?

    1. The ban of lead shot waterfowl will not.and should not be repealed. The trouble lead shot and waterfowl is that the lead ends up in bodies of water, which can cause issues with aquatic wildlife. That ban is one any outdoorsman should understand.

    2. Justin, you say that as if you really know. How do you know? Have you personally conducted studies, or are you just swallowing the agenda driven lies and misrepresentations of those who would disarm America?

      I wish everyone in the United States would study issues, seek truth, and vote for the good of America, and not their own bank accounts.

    3. Steel shot is very damaging to a shotgun not designed for it, barrel and choke, and it carries less energy resulting in (more) lost birds (than lead shot) that die later, to fall under agenda driven studies.

    4. JadeValk, How do you now it isn’t hazardous? Have you personally conducted studies, are you just swallowing the agenda of the lead-shot enthusiasts?

      I wish everyone who addresses this issue from either side would either cite actual peer-reviewed studies, or STFU.

    5. Nasty people resort to nastiness when truth fails them. You cited no “credible” study. I don’t know that lead shot isn’t hazardous, and I’m smart enough to know not to say it isn’t. I said earlier that it damages older shotguns, and it carries less energy which can cause more crippling and loss of game. This is truth Do you have a “study” to cite to refute this? On the other hand, you don’t know that lead shot is, but it is clear what you “swallow” by implication. You want to shut down dialogue, and “that” is against the very foundation of America.

    6. The statement from the court says there is no proff that lead shot affects wildlife so aquatic wildlife would not be affected read the ruling in its entirety. In other words stop your blather!

    7. Exactly. So THAT (the “ban”) didn’t happen. Either.

      As for those who deny the science simply because they perceive any scientist publishing articles in support of reducing the amount of lead exposure to the environment is a left-wing conspiracist who diabolically wants to take away your guns and your daughters, overnight, in one fell swoop, there is no way to convince you that the scientists who study the subject have likely done so for more years than you attended grade school, plus their college, graduate and Ph.D.s. You have closed your minds around propaganda that distracts from facts. Nothing factual gets in! No light, no reason, no logic. So be it. But rational people feel a duty to inform and educate a scientifically illiterate society. And we will endeavor to persevere.

    8. Oh, and here’ a peer-reviewed article from the EHP that neatly outlines the “controversy”. Of course, since it is not peeled from the inter web pages of World Net Daily, red or similar, ahem news sites, it will be summarily dismissed by people waaaaay smarter and more patriotic than the scientists who live and breathe the data. Whatever.

      There was an NIH under GW, GHW, Reagan, Ford and Nixon, too.

    9. First…How many duck hunters are there? How many pellets are shot and land in the water? Think about that. In reality Its not that significant to really matter. Like its been said before, lead is a natural element that the earth produces. So with that said, the earth should be banned from producing lead? (sarcasm) How does this even make sense? Think for yourself don’t go left or right with out doing research for yourself!

      Secondly what about chemical plants that have dumped waste in the bays and waterways where the ducks live. I believe that waste has done more harm to aquatic life and ducks than any amount of lead shoot by duck hunters.

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