NRA Victory in Arizona Battle Over Use of Lead Ammunition
FAIRFAX, Va. –-(Ammoland.com)- In a major legal victory, a federal judge has ruled in favor of the National Rifle Association and the federal Bureau of Land Management, throwing a lawsuit filed by an environmental group, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), out of U.S. District Court in Phoenix, Ariz.
The case is Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Safari Club International had joined the case as a “friend of the court” and assisted NRA with its successful efforts.
CBD's lawsuit, filed on Jan. 27, 2009, alleged that the BLM and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were illegally mismanaging federal lands in Arizona. The lawsuit challenged the allowance of off road vehicles, construction of roads, inadequate protection of desert tortoises, and inadequate protection of California condors.
Among other things, the suit sought to force BLM to ban the use of lead ammunition for hunting in the Arizona Strip, a rugged area in the northwest corner of the state renowned for great hunting. CBD contended California condors in Arizona and elsewhere were being poisoned from scavenging game that was shot by hunters using lead shot or bullets. But the record plainly shows that California condors were reintroduced to this area of Arizona based on express promises by FWS and other agencies that the reintroduction would not affect hunting.
Among other things, the Court ruled that CBD had waived its claims concerning BLM's failure to assess the alleged impact of lead ammunition on condors because “[i]t did not argue that BLM was required to include the potential effects of lead ammunition in [BLM's] analysis of environmental impacts.”
Even before the ruling, NRA's intervention in the case on behalf of its members had already resulted in several legal victories.
A Jan. 13, 2010 court ruling granting NRA's motion to intervene was recently published in the official Federal Rules Decision Reporter. The Federal Rules Decisions Reporter is a compendium of selected United States district court rulings that specifically interpret and apply the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure.
Publication of this court ruling is important to hunters and NRA members because it sets legal precedent by confirming that there is a “significantly protectable interest” in hunting that can justify intervention by hunter's rights groups like NRA in the increasing number of lawsuits filed by so-called environmental groups against state and federal natural resource, game and land management agencies.
To see key documents filed in this case, visit http://michellawyers.com/cbdvblm.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military. Visit: www.nra.org