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January 25, 2013

NSSF Intervenes in Lawsuit to Protect Rights of Hunters and Sportsmen

NSSF, as the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, has filed a motion to intervene to stop yet another frivolous lawsuit brought by fringe anti-hunting groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Sierra Club to ban the use of traditional ammunition containing lead components. This time the CBD has sued the U.S. Forest Service alleging that the agency has violated federal environmental law by allowing the use of lead ammunition on USFS-managed public land.

Under the absurd legal theory espoused by the CBD and its anti-hunting allies in the Forest Service lawsuit, using traditional ammunition to hunt, target shoot or even for self defense, constitutes a “disposal” of a “hazardous waste” in violation of federal environmental law. As it has done in previous attacks on industry, NSSF is intervening in the present case to defend the interests of the firearms and ammunition industry and to protect the rights of hunters and target shooters to use the ammunition of their choice.

A finding by this or any court that the lawful use of traditional ammunition violates the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) will have far-reaching consequences to industry, sportsmen, gun owners, and even law enforcement and the U.S. military. It will have a devastating impact on conservation funding in the United States.

“The CBD’s frivolous legal claim is a transparent attempt to ban traditional ammunition. If successful it would have devastating consequences for our industry, hunters, target shooters and all firearm owners, and on wildlife conservation funding,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel.

The CBD has already twice petitioned and sued the Environmental Protection Agency to ban lead ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The EPA denied both of the CBD’s petitions, noting correctly that it does not have the legal authority to regulate traditional ammunition under TSCA, and so far CBD’s litigation tactics have failed. Their efforts to ban traditional ammunition under TSCA having failed badly, the CBD is trotting out yet another frivolous theory to achieve their anti-hunting agenda.

In their lawsuit against the Forest Service, the plaintiffs — the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council — assert that the agency has and will continue to violate the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by (1) failing to use its authority over the management of National Forest System land to halt the “disposal” of traditional ammunition, spent bullets, they claim is a “hazardous waste” and (2) by issuing Special Use permits to hunting guides and outfitters without requiring them to prohibit the use of traditional ammunition for hunting.

Banning traditional ammunition will increase the price of ammunition, on average, up to 190 percent, which will impose a burden on industry members, hunters and sport shooters. Higher ammunition prices will result in reduced sales and a loss of jobs, as well as a reduction in collection of the excise tax (11 percent) on ammunition that is a primary source of conservation funding in the United States. Read the full NSSF motion to intervene.

Learn more about traditional ammunition.

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Tags: government relations National Shooting Sports Foundation NSSF traditional ammunition

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