SCI Prevails in Lead Ammunition Case: State Regulations Upheld

Tucson, AZ – Safari Club International (SCI) has successfully defended a lawsuit brought by anti-hunting groups attempting to ban lead ammunition in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest.

That lawsuit aimed to restrict hunting access on the fabricated grounds of a federal environmental law violation, and the issue has bounced around the courts for the last several years. In April 2021, however, a federal judge once again sided with SCI and the National Rifle Association (NRA) in allowing the use of lead ammunition as provided by Arizona law.

“This ruling not only preserves the freedom to hunt in an accurate, cost-effective, and accessible way, but it also upholds state authority in the regulation of ammunition use on Forest Service lands,” said Laird Hamberlin, CEO of SCI. “And it is yet another SCI win against anti-hunting groups seeking to destroy our hunting heritage.”

The case is part of a long-running series of lawsuits brought by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a group that opposes hunting that has challenged the use of lead ammunition in the Kaibab National Forest. CBD has claimed that the U.S. Forest Service violates the Re- sources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a federal solid waste law, by allowing the use of lead ammo for hunting. Although this law is typically applied to manufacturing and industrial sites, CBD has tried repeatedly to expand its reach to cover lead ammo left behind in gut piles, arguing that the leftover solid waste has negatively impacted populations of the California condor, which is listed under the Endangered Species Act.

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