Fed. Court Dismisses Lawsuit Aimed at Lead Ammo Ban

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed a federal lawsuit aimed at banning ammunition with lead components which amounts to yet another blow for the anti-hunting Center for Biological Diversity (CBD).


It is a significant victory for hunters, shooters and the firearms industry. The National Shooting Sports Foundation hailed the decision. NSSF intervened in the case along with the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International and the Association of Battery Recyclers.

Joining CBD in the lawsuit were six other groups including the Cascades Raptor Center of Oregon, the Loon Lake Loon Association of Washington, Preserve Our Wildlife of Florida, Tennessee Ornithological Society, Trumpeter Swan Society and Western Nebraska Resources Council.

“We are gratified that the court has found this second frivolous lawsuit, which is essentially the same as the one dismissed last year, was equally without merit,” said NSSF senior vice president and general counsel Larry Keane in a press release. “This was a waste of taxpayers’ dollars and EPA resources spent in having to defend a baseless lawsuit.”

According to the NSSF, more than 10 billion rounds of what the group calls “traditional ammunition” because it has lead components are manufactured and sold annually in the U.S. A lot of that is sold in Washington, Oregon and Idaho where hunting, target shooting and competition attract tens of thousands of people every year.

Keane noted that, “Banning traditional ammunition would cost tens of thousands of jobs in America and destroy wildlife conservation that is funded in part by an 11 percent excise tax on the sale of ammunition. The protection and management of wildlife is properly handled by the professional biologists in the state fish and game agencies, as it has been for over a hundred years.”


NSSF filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit last August, the statement recalled. The court determined that EPA does not have the authority to regulate traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

EPA had already twice denied attempts by CBD to have the agency ban traditional ammunition, and the court had dismissed an earlier case brought by CBD seeking the same relief, NSSF noted.

Keane said there is “simply no sound science that shows the use of traditional ammunition has harmed wildlife populations or that it presents a health risk to humans who consume game taken with such ammunition.”

If lead ammunition were banned, it would have several impacts on hunting and shooting. Ammunition would become more expensive, including common .22-caliber rimfire ammunition, virtually all of which is loaded with lead bullets.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member