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National Shooting Sports Foundation jumps into ammunition lawsuit fray

November 24, 2010 |  1:57 pm

As the sun sets in the west, a couple of hunters in a field look for the last flight of dove.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation will file a motion to intervene in response to a lawsuit filed Tuesday challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's denial of a petition to ban lead use in ammunition.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by the Center for Biological Diversity, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and Project Gutpile, which on Aug. 3 had petitioned the EPA to ban traditional ammunition as well as fishing tackle containing lead.

In August, the EPA denied the portion of the petition calling for a ban on the production and distribution of lead hunting ammunition, saying it did not have the legal authority to regulate the production and distribution of traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act. And in November, the EPA also denied the portion calling for a ban on the manufacture, use and processing of lead in fishing gear.

"We knew that this fight was far from over even after we gained that early victory," said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. "The CBD petition and now this lawsuit are clearly attacks on the right of hunters to choose the ammunition that best suits their hunting and target shooting needs, and they are attacks on hunting as well."

Only three of the original five groups that filed the Aug. 3 petition joined Tuesday's lawsuit. Not participating were the American Bird Conservancy and the Assn. of Avian Veterinarians.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: As the sun sets in the west, a couple of hunters in a field look for the last flight of dove. Credit: George Wilhelm / Los Angeles Times