If you’re a member of the civilian disarmament industrial complex, anything that makes owning and operating a firearm more difficult or expensive is a step in the right direction. If you can’t get something like universal background checks federally mandated — and they have no hope of even that in the foreseeable future — you try other avenues. Like the courts. One long-standing effort has been to classify lead bullets and shot as toxic in the hopes of getting the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate lead ammunition out of existence (see California). But today, the US District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit slapped down tree huggers and gun grabbers alike by ruling “that environmental groups have suggested no way in which EPA could regulate spent lead bullets and shot without also regulating cartridges and shells.” That’s a problem because . . .
The Toxic Substances Control Act exempts cartridges and shells from regulation.
The National Rifle Association and much of the pro-gun lobby intervened on the EPA’s side in urging the federal appeals court to uphold the dismissal of a lawsuit by 101 environmentalist organizations.
“Given that bullets and shot can become spent only if they are first contained in a cartridge or shell and then fired from a weapon,” the environmental groups “have identified no way in which EPA could regulate spent bullets and shot without also regulating cartridges and shells,” precisely what the law prohibits, said the decision by appeals judge David Tatel, a nominee of President Bill Clinton. The other two judges on the case were Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard, both nominees of President Barack Obama.
Not the kind of Christmas present anti-gunners were hoping for.
Lawyers for the environmentalists say there are many effective alternatives, such as substituting copper for lead bullets and lead shot.
Gun supporters say ammunition manufactured with alternative materials is more costly to produce and sell than traditional ammunition.
It looks like gun owners have been on Santa’s nice list this year. Ho ho ho. [h/t Dirk Diggler]