Thursday, August 26, 2010

Here comes the bullet ban. UPDATED: DEFEATED!

I've been expecting this for a while now, frankly I'm kind of surprised it has taken this long. The EPA is currently in a public comment period on a section 21 petition under the toxic substances control act by a coalition of environmental groups requesting the EPA to ban lead in bullets, shotgun shot, and fishing weights.

This is truly nothing more than an attempt to ban guns by other means. Since the constitution specifically enjoins the government from banning guns, gun banners have taken the tack of attacking the ammunition instead. Other attempts in this vein have already occurred such as requiring the serialization and registration of ammunition, requiring all guns to be modified with "microstamping" technology on their firing pins, and other onerous attempts at making our guns worthless paperweights. All of these measures have failed before being implemented so far. The alternatives to lead are simply not as good. they are not as dense so the bullet is lighter for a given size (and bullets cannot grow large enough to equal the weight of the lead bullet they are replacing in many calibers and in those cases where it is possible, the aerodynamics and terminal ballistics of the bullet are very different from the lead bullet it replaces. Lighter bullets move faster, and in some calibers that may actually increase penetration is some instances depending on what they impact. non-lead bullets are harder than lead, and therefore they do not expand properly leading to further increases in penetration. In some instances these are essentially armor piercing rounds which are already banned. non-lead bullets tend to break up instead of mushroom, ironically resulting in less stopping power.

It is time to tell the EPA that they do not have the constitutional authority to do this.


The EPA, after being buried under an onslaught of negative comments from gun owners, and being clearly notified that they do not have the constitutional authority to regulate commerce in firearms (which is what a bullet ban is, without bullets a gun is an expensive paperweight.). They have decided that discretion is the better part of valor and have rejected the petition.

Agreeing with the position of the NRA and the firearms industry, the agency explained in a news release that it “does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).” Further crushing the hopes of anti-gun and anti-hunting activists, the release added: “nor is the agency seeking such authority.”

At least, for now that is....


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