In a major victory for hunters and the National Rifle Association (NRA), a federal court has rejected an attempt by environmental groups to ban lead ammunition in a national park. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a request by the Center for Biological Diversity to prohibit the use of lead ammo in the Kaibab National Forest, which borders the Grand Canyon and is a popular hunting spot.
This NRA victory affirmed that the states have primary responsibility over wildlife management, including all aspects related to hunting. https://t.co/hxautYNGBK
— NRA (@NRA) September 2, 2023
The Center for Biological Diversity had been fighting for 11 years to ban lead bullets used by hunters, claiming that they pose a risk to birds such as condors when they eat the remains of field-dressed game. However, the court ruled that the federal government’s decision not to regulate lead ammo does not contribute to the disposal of hazardous waste.
This decision is a blow to gun control and anti-hunting advocates who view ammo bans as a crucial step in their agenda. The NRA hailed the court’s unanimous decision as a significant setback for these groups. In Arizona, the state recommends using alternative copper bullets, which do not break apart like lead bullets do.
The case also serves as a test for anti-hunting groups’ attempts to regulate ammunition. By denying the Center for Biological Diversity’s request, the court has affirmed that wildlife management, including hunting regulations, falls under the primary responsibility of the states. This ruling rejects the application of a federal law designed for large-scale commercial waste disposal to everyday American hunters.
Overall, this ruling is a win for hunters and the NRA, protecting their rights to continue using lead ammunition and demonstrating the preference for state-level management of hunting regulations. It is a blow to the broader gun control agenda and a defeat for anti-hunting advocates who sought to further restrict ammunition choices.