HR 1558 & S 838 – Changes In Toxic Substances Act Regarding Lead

Two new bills have been introduced in Congress that would clarify the exemptions for ammunition contained in the Toxic Substances Control Act. These bills, if passed, would moot the Center for Biological Diversity’s lawsuit that is attempting to force the EPA to ban lead based ammunition and lead in fishing tackle.

HR 1558, the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act of 2011, was introduced by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR). It currently has 38 co-sponsors and the bipartisan support of the Congressional Sportsman’s Caucus. Rep. Ross had this to say about the bill.

“It’s always important to find a commonsense balance between protecting the rights of hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen and protecting our environment and wildlife habitats for future generations,” said Congressman Ross. “There is no credible scientific evidence that demonstrates traditional ammunition and fishing tackle pose any threat to human health or wildlife populations and this legislation is needed to permanently address this issue once and for all. I’m pleased to join this bipartisan effort and to work to stop the TSCA petition, which is the most recent in a long string of attacks on our cherished hunting and fishing heritage.”

The Senate version of the Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act of 2011, S. 838 was introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD). It has three co-sponsors.

Both bills have the strong backing of the NSSF and were introduced right after they had the Industry Fly-In.

“Wildlife management is the proper jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the 50 state wildlife agencies,” said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. “But no one should be misled about what’s truly at stake here. A ban on traditional ammunition will not only affect hunters and sportsmen, but law enforcement, military, self-defense and target shooters who may never go afield. This is precisely why all Americans, not just gun owners, have a vested interest in the passage of the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act.”

The higher costs associated with alternative ammunition will price everyday consumers out of the market. This is evidenced by the low 1 percent market share of alternative ammunition. This would lead to fewer hunters taking to the field and shooting ranges across the United States being needlessly closed.

“The economic growth of America’s firearms and ammunition industry continues to be a bright spot in our country’s still-ailing economy,” continued Keane. “Passing this important legislation will help to ensure that our industry, which is responsible for more than 183,000 well-paying jobs and has an economic impact of more than $27.8 billion annually, continues to shine.”

As I reported last week, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) also has a bill, HR 1445, that removes the EPA’s authority to regulate lead in ammunition and fishing tackle. The text of HR 1558 and S 838 are not yet available so I’ll reserve judgment on which will be the more effective until I’ve had a chance to read both bills.


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