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Protecting Traditional Ammunition: Senators Tester and Thune Introduce Amendment

The anti-hunting Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and six other groups last week filed a lawsuit designed to pressure the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into banning traditional ammunition containing lead components, an action that NSSF immediately responded to, saying it would intervene to represent the interests of industry, hunters and target shooters. EPA has twice denied petitions filed by CBD to ban traditional ammunition, citing correctly that it does not have the authority to regulate ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Traditional_Ammo"This is a frivolous lawsuit clear and simple," said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for NSSF. "There is 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." NSSF called on industry members, hunters and shooters to support an amendment to the Farm Bill (read below) that contains legislation that would clarify the exemption.

  • AMENDMENT OF VITAL IMPORTANCE TO SPORTSMEN . . . Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) have filed an historic package of sportsmen's bills as an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill that includes NSSF's top legislative priority, the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, which would clarify that ammunition is excluded from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Comprising 16 separate pieces of legislation, the package includes the majority of the firearms and ammunition industry's legislative priorities for the 112th Congress. A similar but less extensive package of bills--the Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089)--was passed by the House in April by a bipartisan vote of 276 to 146. Read the press release.(below)

Senators Tester and Thune Introduce Vitally Important Sportsmen's Act Amendment

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) have filed an historic package of sportsmen's bills as an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill that includes NSSF's top legislative priority, the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, which would clarify that ammunition is excluded from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Anti-hunting groups led by the Center for Biodiversity are suing the EPA to force a ban on traditional ammunition made with lead components that would devastate hunting and shooting sports participation and conservation funding.

Championed by the bipartisan senate co-chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, the package has the strong support of NSSF and partner organizations such as the NRA, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, the Boone and Crockett Club and numerous other sportsmen and conservation groups. Comprising 16 separate pieces of legislation, the package includes the vast majority of the firearms and ammunition industry's legislative priorities for the 112th Congress. A similar but less extensive package of bills--the Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089)--was passed by the House in April by a bipartisan vote of 276 to 146.

"Senators Tester and Thune are to be commended for their leadership and willingness to reach across the aisle to co-sponsor this important amendment containing so many priority items for hunters and shooters," said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. "Passage of this unprecedented legislation will protect and defend our nation's hunting, shooting and conservation heritage for generations to come."

Priority Provisions of the Sportsmen's Act of 2012

The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act: Specifically excludes ammunition and fishing tackle from the Toxic Substances Control Act, preventing unnecessary regulations that could devastate hunting, shooting, conservation funding and the firearm and ammunition industries.

Making Public Lands Public: Requires that the 1.5 percent of annual Land and Water Conservation Fund funding is made available to secure public access to federal public land for hunting, fishing and other recreational purposes.

Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act: Makes Pittman-Robertson funds available to states for a longer period of time for the creation and maintenance of shooting ranges. The bill encourages federal land agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain shooting ranges and limits liability for these agencies.

Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act: Allows for the Secretary of the Interior to authorize permits for re-importation of legally harvested polar bears from approved populations in Canada before the 2008 ban.

Recreational Lands Self Defense Act: Prohibits the Secretary of the Army from enforcing any regulation that keeps an individual from possessing firearms in Army Corps of Engineer Water Resource Development projects or facilities.

NSSF Press Release:

NSSF to Intervene in Latest Lawsuit Against Traditional Ammunition

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, will file to intervene in the frivolous lawsuit brought today by the Center for Biological Diversity and six other groups to pressure the Environmental Protection Agency to ban traditional ammunition containing lead components.

The EPA already has twice denied petitions filed by CBD to ban traditional ammunition, noting correctly that it does not have the authority to regulate traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

“This is a frivolous lawsuit clear and simple,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for NSSF. “There is 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.”

Today Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus co-chairmen Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and John Thune (R-SD) filed an amendment to the Farm Bill that contains a number of sportsmen’s priorities including legislation that has already been passed by the House of Representatives to exempt traditional ammunition from being regulated by EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Exempting traditional ammunition from EPA jurisdiction is supported by 35 national conservation and sportsmen’s groups and also the Fraternal Order of Police because a ban on traditional ammunition would apply to law enforcement and the U.S. military.

According to CBD, others joining 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.

Learn more about traditional ammunition.

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About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 7,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

 

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