In its final attack on gun owners, the Obama administration moved to ban traditional lead ammo on federal grounds and waterways on its last full day in office.
The ban, which includes cheap bullets and common fishing tackle, can be repealed by the Trump administration and was immediately condemned as an attack on outdoors people and rural life.
"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."
The National Rifle Association's lobby shop predicted that the ban will be "short lived."
In a statement, it said, "Like so much of what Barack Obama claimed as 'accomplishments,' it 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 Fish and Wildlife Service ban is aimed at protecting birds, animals and fish from lead poisoning. It is to begin now and cover all federal lands by 2022 unless revised.
But it apparently came as a surprise to state agencies working with FWS to study the impact of lead bullets and weights.
The association that represents state agencies, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, for example, ripped the 11th hour move as an attack on hunters, anglers and life in rural America.
"This 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." He adds, "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. It does a disservice to hunters and anglers, the firearms and angling industries, and the many professionals on staff with the USFWS who desire a trusting and transparent relationship with their state partners." This is unacceptable federal overreach into the states' authority to regulate the methods of take for sport fish as well as complete disregard for the states' concurrent jurisdiction with the Service for the management of migratory birds. Further, the economic impacts of this action, which likely will be felt most by rural Americans, is likely to be hundreds of millions of dollars."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com