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By AWR Hawkins

Empty Brass Ammo

Empty Brass Ammo

AmmoLand Gun News

AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC - -(  On March 27th 2014 the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Division (EPA) raided USA Brass in Bozeman, Montana.

FBI agents were also on scene.

“USA Brass cleans and sells ammunition casings” which are then reused to make more ammunition.

According to NBC Montana, Agent Bert Mardsen said the EPA was “investigating alleged violations of environmental law.” He would not provide details of the investigation, except to say “there [was] no immediate threat to the public or the community” at the time of the raid.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, after an investigation of the company in 2013, said the company had “overexposed workers to lead and failed to provide basic safeguards to reduce lead exposure, including breathing protection and protective clothing.”

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AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America’s Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA’s Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

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  • 14 User comments to “EPA Raids Ammunition Component Factory in Montana”

    1. oldgringo on April 2, 2014 at 4:20 AM said:

      I thought shell casings were made of brass…Not lead!

    2. Just another illegal and corrupt tactic of this administration to decimate the United States constitution . ABOLISH THE EPA , IMPRISON ITS LEADERS . This entire currant United States Government is nothing less than a corrupt rogue regime and is no more legal under the constitution than the currant government of Venezuela and most other communist banana republics .

    3. Sounds like a former employee had something to get even about.

    4. askeptic on April 2, 2014 at 11:03 AM said:

      The used brass may have trace amounts of lead if unjacketed bullets had been used originally.
      That could lead to lead traces being found in the waste cleaning media that would trigger a warning. It would be interesting what levels of lead (PPM) were found by OSHA triggering their citation, and what they reported to EPA? Plus, what standard of contamination is the EPA using that would justify such a heavy-handed investigation? And finally, what are the results of that investigation?

    5. So if lead exposure was their “environmental issue,” then why did the FBI have to be involved on scene? What was their real purpose?

    6. GreyBeard on April 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM said:

      The lead is primarily from the primers. Most priming compound contains lead styphnate which gets into the cleaning material. It can also get into the air when depriming the cases prior to or after cleaning. When I tumble my cases I do it outside with the top off so the dust can dissipate into the atmosphere. If I have a lot of brass to do, I’ll sometimes have a fan blow across the top.

    7. The “Green Earthers” started their “no-lead” campaign when “kids” in older “inner city” buildings were found eating chips of lead based paint because it tasted sweet. Ingested lead and lead in the environment, now that’s a real “stretch”? After all, it is a naturally occurring element.

    8. Virtually all modern ammo uses a lead based primers.

      Sorry guys, I’m as hardcore a supporter of the 2nd as they come, but this is not some dark conspiracy. It’s about employee safety.

      This outfit cleans spent brass, which inevitably is contaminated with lead. No one is saying this outfit shouldn’t reprocess spent brass. They’re saying employees must be provided with appropriate respirators to protect their health in a lead contaminated working environment.

      Being pro gun shouldn’t be offered up as an excuse for giving bad actors a pass to put their workers in harm’s way just because the bad actor happens to be associated with the firearms industry. Had they obeyed safety regulations, they wouldn’t be in trouble in the first place.

      Under the circumstances, a reasonable person would ask, “If they’re cutting corners on employee safety, what corners are they cutting on the quality of their products?” Instead of questioning appropriate regulation and enforcement against bad actors, folks should be questioning whether or not they really want to do business with anyone that operates their business in an unethical manner.

    9. Possible violations of environmental law get a compliance visit and inspection – not a raid.

    10. concerned citizen on April 6, 2014 at 5:32 PM said:

      and so it continues….soon we will be left with sticks and rocks to defend ourselves

    11. “Spent Uranium” is denser than lead. What kind of “compliance posse” does the EPA put together if you’re fabricating projectiles out of that stuff? LOL

    12. A QUICK SIDE NOTE ON LEAD BASED PRIMERS: There has been a recent anti gun push for legislation to ban all lead in ammo. On the surface of this legislation is the assumption it is directed at projectiles. However, the language included in these proposals would also ban the use of lead based primers. It’s an important issue to gun owners, as lead free primers have a short shelf life, degrading and becoming inert within a few years. The materials used in lead based primers, however, are very stable and last practically forever. It is a critical issue to gun owners who buy ammo in bulk and stock up on ammo so they don’t run out during the kind of frequent ammo shortages we’ve seen over the past several years. Any overly broad ban that includes lead based primers would result in individual ammo stores becoming useless within a few years.

    13. Hmm, brass has very little lead in it to begin with. The only way to get high levels of exposer to the lead in the casings would have been to melt them down releasing fumes into the air that had lead in it. Just handling it and cleaning it would only give very MINOR exposure to lead. A couple of garlic pills and a few beers over the weekend would get rid of what little a body absorbed.

    14. I am all for employee safety but why is it that they needed to stage a armed joint task force raid when simply shutting them down until the problems were fixed and slapping them with a fine would do it. That would take what three people maybe? How much did this raid in the name of public safety cost the tax payers?

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