The Doe Run smelting facility, the last primary lead smelter in the United States, will close down at the end of December 2013 after over a century of operation. Doe Run was forced to close down after President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated Doe Run implement over $100 million in emissions controls as required by the Clean Air Act. The costs of the updates made future operation impossible and forced the company and at least 145 employees out of work.
The 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 is then sold to lead product producers, including ammunition manufactures for use in conventional ammunition components such as projectiles, projectile cores, and primers. However, several “secondary” smelters, where lead is recycled from products such as lead acid batteries or spent ammunition components, still operate in the United States. Nonetheless, they do not provide the domestic capability to mine and smelt lead from raw ore meaning remaining stockpiles of lead will be quickly exhausted.
The closure of Doe Run marks a milestone in Obama’s asymmetric war on private firearms. Obama correctly recognized that he would be unable to pass his coveted gun control legislation through Congress and so has sought to circumvent the will of the people and his constitutional authorities. He has accomplished this by creating a mountain of defacto legislation via executive regulations administered through various agencies such as the EPA. In this case, Obama has sought to attack and limit gun ownership by depriving gun owners of critical raw materials for the production of ammunition through intense and crushing regulation of lead. This should come as no surprise since lead has been a prime target of anti-gun advocates in California for years. Just this year, lead was all by outlawed for use in bullets in California.
In Obama’s relentless clandestine attack on gun rights, he has stopped at nothing. By closing Doe Run, Obama has also jeopardized our military’s ammunition supplies. Doe Run’s location was one of the prime reasons that the Lake City Arsenal (a primary manufacturer of ammunition for the US military) and other ammunition manufacturers have established themselves nearby. This proximity allowed them to keep ammunition manufacturing costs low. However, with the closure of Doe Run, the US military will have to source its lead from potentially hostile nations like China. This creates a critical vulnerability in our military supplies (lead is a strategic natural resource) via a reliance on a nation (China) we may go to war with for something as basic and essential as ammunition. The fact that the US no longer has the industrial capacity to produce its own ammunition without importing raw materials is truly a shocking milestone that should have Americans outraged as the President has acted in dereliction of his duties as Commander in Chief. The military cannot be left at the mercy of none other than China for its ammunition! One needs little imagination to see how this will go horribly wrong.
The immediate effect on the citizen gun owner will, without doubt, be a jump in already very high ammunition prices. Further, in an already artificially scarce ammunition market (due to massive purchases of ammunition by the Department of Homeland Security, which were clearly intended to buy up and deprive gun owners of affordable ammunition) there will likely be even greater ammunition shortages. The situation could become so acute that all remaining lead supplies are seized by the federal government for the military and DHS. This was all intended and planned by the Obama Administration and provides just one more reason why the EPA should be drastically reduced in scope and power if not totally dissolved as an agency. In summary, the result of the closing of Doe Run will make it impossible for the US to manufacture ammunition from materials sourced domestically and drastically reduce ammunition availability while driving prices to new, unaffordable levels just as Obama’s rabid anti-gun gestapo planned.
By Guiles Hendrik
October 29, 2013
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