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EPA Closure of Last Lead Smelting Plant to Impact Ammunition Production
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not content to infringe on property rights; recent actions taken against the country’s last lead smelting facility will affect the right to keep and bear arms, as well, by substantially impacting the production of ammunition. As of December 31, 2013, the lead refining plant will close for good.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
About 145 employees of the Doe Run lead smelter [in Herculaneum, Missouri] learned they will lose their jobs at the end of December because of the plant’s closure, the Doe Run Co. said Wednesday. An additional 73 contractor jobs also will be eliminated.
The job cuts were expected. The plant, which has operated for more than a century and is the lone remaining lead smelter in the United States, announced in 2010 that it will cease operations at the end of this year.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the 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.
That all sounds so very sterile, but the truth of the matter is that in shuttering this plant, the Obama administration has taken yet another unconstitutional step, one that will severely impinge on the nation’s ammunition manufacturing capability. Why would the Doe Run Company, the owners of the Missouri lead smelting facility, agree to being run out of business by the EPA? One word: extortion.
In a document published on its website, the EPA explains that in order for Doe Run to continue its operations, the company would have to agree to pay “$65 million to correct violations of several environmental laws at 10 of its lead mining, milling and smelting facilities in southeast Missouri. The settlement also requires the company to pay a $7 million civil penalty.”
In a statement to the press, Doe Run said the fine and the required upgrades to its facilities were “too financially risky.”
The effect on the right to keep and bear arms is obvious. As explained by the National Rifle Association (NRA):
The Herculaneum smelter is currently the only smelter in the United States which can produce lead bullion from raw lead ore that is mined nearby in Missouri’s extensive lead deposits, giving the smelter its “primary” designation. The lead bullion produced in Herculaneum is then sold to lead product producers, including ammunition manufacturers for use in conventional ammunition components such as projectiles, projectile cores, and primers. Several “secondary” smelters, where lead is recycled from products such as lead acid batteries or spent ammunition components, still operate in the United States.
Without ammunition, a gun is just a club. The government knows this, and in light of the ongoing project of arming federal agencies to the teeth with millions of rounds of ammunition and military-grade weapons and vehicles, the EPA’s closing of the Doe Run plant, although not a direct assault on the right to keep and bear arms, can be seen as another step toward civilian disarmament.
While a few other media outlets have reported on the closure, none has connected this dot to a couple of others in the overall plan to leave Americans without weapons and ammunition.
First, the EPA’s closing of the country’s last lead smelting facility follows close on the heels (within a little over a month) ofSecretary of State John Kerry’s signing of the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) “on behalf of President Barack Obama and the people of the United States.”
Article 3 of that agreement outlaws the buying, selling, trading, or transferring by civilians of all “ammunition/munitions fired, launched or delivered by the conventional arms.”
By making it impossible to manufacture ammunition, it becomes impossible for civilians to own it. Mind you, such prohibitions do not apply to government. In fact, under the Arms Trade Treaty, the national governments of member countries are given monopoly control of the entire ammunition stockpile of that country.