Gun owners can rest easy about one aspect of President Obama’s agenda. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to close the country’s last remaining lead smelter will not cause further ammunition shortages or higher costs.
“Manufacturers use recycled lead to make ammunition. They don’t buy from smelters,” Mr. Keane told me Monday. “The EPA closing, which has been in the works for a while, will have no impact on production, supply or cost to the consumers.”
A primary smelter is like a coal mine — it takes the lead out of the ground and turns it into a usable product. The more than 100-year-old Doe Run Lead Smelter is closing its Herculaneum plant at the end of the year to comply with air-quality standards set by the EPA.
American ammunition manufacturers use lead that has been recycled from a variety of everyday products, like car batteries and tire weights.
Ammunition supply has been at historic lows over the last year. This has led some to believe Internet conspiracy theories blaming Mr. Obama, such as the Department of Homeland Security buying up the civilian supply.