The Environmental Protection Agency issued a press release August 27th announcing that it had rejected a petition filed by radical environmental groups to have lead ammunition banned under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The Center for Biological Diversity and others attempted to make a case that language in the Act exempting shells and cartridges did not prevent the agency from regulating lead or other components of ammunition. EPA rejected that interpretation, but left open the second part of the petition that demands a ban on lead fishing tackle. There is no exemption in the Act protecting lead fishing tackle.
The EPA is inviting comment on the fishing tackle issue until September 15th. Comments can be submitted at http://www.regulations.gov.
Many hunters and shooters also enjoy fishing, and a ban on lead fishing tackle could impose major economic hardships. Such a ban would also mean a significant loss of income for the state fish and wildlife agencies that depend on the revenue from excise taxes imposed on fishing equipment, just as they depend on the revenue generated by excise taxes on firearms and ammunition.
The American Sportfishing Association has posted information on this threat at www.asafishing.org. Click on the subject of the EPA petition under 'Policy Alert'. The NRA encourages all sportsmen and women to come to the aid of the angling community by commenting to the EPA in opposition to this ill-conceived petition.