Obama’s Backdoor Gun Control: EPA Regulations Force The Last Lead Smelter In The U.S. To Close
It’s hard to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights when the government is trying to cut you off from the lead you need to make your bullets.
Thanks to Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we can no longer smelt lead from ore in the United States.
The first contact the EPA made with The Doe Run Lead Smelter in Herculaneum, Missouri (population 2,800) was in 2008 but it was in 2010 that the EPA finally forced Doe Run to plan a shut down. This plant has been in operation since 1892 but will finally close its doors this month. It was the last lead smelting plant in the US.
The closedown is due to new extremely tight air quality restrictions placed on this specific plant. President Obama and his EPA raised the regulations by 10 fold and it would have cost the plant $100 million to comply.
In response to the Doe Run lead smelter shutdown, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the Doe Run Company “made a business decision” to shut down the smelter instead of installing pollution control technologies needed to reduce sulfur dioxide and lead emissions as required by the Clean Air Act.
…What this all means is that after December 2013, any ammunition that will be available to US citizens will have to be imported, which will surely increase the price and possibly come under government control. It seems this is fully in concert with the US Military and Homeland Defense recent purchase of large quantities of ammunition.
The effect is chilling: you can own all the guns you want, but if you can’t get ammo, you are out of luck. Remember when President Obama promised his minions that he was working on gun control behind the scenes? Welcome to it. The result is that all domestically mined lead ore will have to be shipped overseas, refined and then shipped back to the US.
What do the government bureaucrats care how much ammo costs? You’re paying for their ammo and if bullets cost you more, they’re fine with that because it means there will be less of them. Moreover, this will give them opportunities to control the supply of bullets coming in and out of the United States. This is bad for businesses, bad for gun owners, and bad for freedom, but it’s good for liberals like Obama who want to see the country disarmed.
Update:The Blaze, closing this plant will have less of an impact than this story suggests.
Companies like Doe Run will continue to manufacture the lead used in ammunition because most ammunition in the United States is made from recycled lead that comes from secondary smelters.
“[T]he majority of the lead used by ammunition manufacturers comes from secondary smelters that recycle lead from car batteries,” Bob Owens of Bearing Arms wrote.
Doe Run has a secondary smelter facility in southern Missouri.
More than 80 percent of all lead produced in the U.S. is used in either motive batteries to start vehicles, or in stationary batteries for backup power,” the company states on its website. “In the U.S., the recycle rate of these batteries is approximately 98 percent, making lead-based batteries the most highly recycled consumer product. These batteries are recycled at secondary lead smelters. We own such a smelter in southern Missouri.”
…“Sierra uses no primary lead at all and never has, so we use nothing directly from this facility,” the company said in a statement on its website. “[W]e do not see any reason for alarm. We expect our supply to continue and keep feeding our production lines which are still running 24 hours per day to return our inventory levels to where they should be.”
“No impact upon any cast bullet manufacturing operation whatever. We do not use virgin lead, which is what Doe Run provided,” Brad Alpert, operations manager for the Missouri Bullet Company, told TheBlaze in an email. “We use foundry alloy from major foundries derived from scrap sources, purified and cleaned to purity.”
“Employees wear protective gear to keep themselves safe as they work to produce lead metals and alloys critical to modern society,” the company’s site reads. (Image source: Doe Run Company)
“The jacketed bullets companies (Winchester, Remington, Federal, et al.) use the same sources that we do,” Alpert wrote.
Steve Weliver of Cape Fear Arsenal added in an email to TheBlaze: “We have not begun production at rates that this will impact.”
“At this time we do not anticipate any additional strain on our ability to obtain lead,” Tim Brandt of ATK, the parent company of Federal Premium, CCI, and Speer ammunition, said in reference to the Herculaneum closure in a company FAQ.
Roughly 80 percent of “lead used in the United States secondary market (which is what most ammunition manufacturers use) comes from recycled batteries and another 7 percent to 9 percent of lead on the market comes from other scrap sources,” Owens reported, citing Daniel Hill, Operations Manager at Mayco Industries. “Only 10 percent of the lead in the U.S. comes from mining.”
In other words, could this have an impact? Yes, it could, but it looks likely that it will be much more minor than was originally suggested by this article.