President Obama is the single greatest gun salesmen in the history of this country. Gun stores everywhere should send him a thank-you card. His executive attacks on gun owners (a.k.a. “executive orders”) spurred historic firearms sales in each year of his presidency.
But as with most politicians, he didn’t learn a thing.
His final gun-related action as President sought to ban traditional lead ammo on federal grounds and waterways. The order is ostensibly aimed at protecting birds, animals and fish from lead poisoning, but the science is far from conclusive.
“This directive is irresponsible and driven not out of sound science but unchecked politics,” said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
“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.”
Lead ammo is generally cheaper than other kinds of ammunition, so the former President’s ban would put an extra economic burden on hunters looking to provide for their families.
The order is also a classic example of government overreach, as state agencies have traditionally managed the use of lead ammunition on their lands and waterways.
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, a group that represents state conservationists, released a statement criticizing the President’s move.
Association President Nick Wiley said that the action “flies squarely in the face of a long and constructive tradition of states working in partnership with the service to effectively manage fish and wildlife resources.”
Wiley called the order “unacceptable federal overreach,” adding, “the Association views this Order as a breach of trust and deeply disappointing given that it was a complete surprise and there was no current dialogue or input from state fish and wildlife agencies prior to issuance.”
The National Rifle Association also chimed in, saying the order “will hopefully amount to little more than a symbolic act of defiance by a president with little of substance to show for his eight years in office.”
The NRA’s hopes are well-founded as the Trump administration can easily repeal Obama’s final attack on gun owners with a new executive order.
Trump has yet to comment on the ban, but, given his staunch support of gun rights during the campaign, hunters and sportsmen have cause to be optimistic.