(NationalSentinel) It was a busy day Friday in Washington, D.C. An incoming president was inaugurated, an outgoing president was seen off, and a host of administration appointees continued working to ensure that the Trump administration has plenty to do overturning as many rules and regulations as possible during its first several months in office.
But on Thursday, his final full day in office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, an Obama appointee, ordered an ammunition ban on certain federal lands. As reported by the Washington Free Beacon:
The ban, which took effect immediately, eliminates the use of lead-based ammunition on federal lands like national parks and wildlife refuges, as well as any other land administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service. The ban is expected to have a major impact on much of the hunting that takes place on federal lands across the United States as lead-based ammunition is widely legal and used throughout the country.
Ashe said the order was necessary to protect wildlife from exposure to lead.
“Exposure to lead ammunition and fishing tackle has resulted in harmful effects to fish and wildlife species,” Ashe said in his order. “According to the U.S. Geological Survey, lead poisoning is a toxicosis caused by the absorption of hazardous levels of lead in body tissues.”
“The use of lead ammunition continues for other forms of hunting, presenting an ongoing risk to upland or terrestrial migratory birds and other species that ingest spent shot directly from the ground or as a result of predating or scavenging carcasses that have been killed with lead ammunition and left in the field,” Ashe’s order said. “Many states have enacted nontoxic shot and ammunition requirements to address this concern.”
Sure; it’s the lead, you see, and that’s dangerous.
Of course, lead ingestion is a bad thing, but if this was such a big problem, why did Ashe wait until he was leaving office to issue the rule? He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate June 30, 2011.
To say that this was political is an understatement, and gun groups know it.
“This directive is irresponsible and driven not out of sound science but unchecked politics,” said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, in a statement to the Free Beacon. “The timing alone is suspect. This directive was published without dialogue with industry, sportsmen, and conservationists. The next director should immediately rescind this and, instead, create policy based upon scientific evidence of population impacts with regard to the use of traditional ammunition.”
Like we said, this may just be another bothersome rule that the Trump administration will have to now take time to reverse.