Committee Republicans Release Memo on Last Minute Obama-Era Rule Banning Lead Ammo

Published: Feb 20, 2018

WASHINGTON –  Today, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Republicans released a memo regarding a last minute rule imposed by the Obama Administration prohibiting the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on Fish and Wildlife Service property. Documents show the departing Administration hastily prepared and unilaterally imposed this policy without citing scientific support and public input.

View full text of the memo here


  • Lead represents a common element of fishing tackle and ammunition used by American hunters and anglers. Opponents of the ban assert existing scientific evidence shows lead in bullets and fishing tackle do not have a significant negative impact on wildlife.  
  • On January 19, 2017, outgoing U.S. Fish Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe released Director’s Order No. 219 pertaining to “Use of Nontoxic Ammunition and Fishing Tackle.” The Order established a new FWS policy barring the use of lead in ammunition and fishing tackle.   

Key Findings: 

  • FWS hastily prepared the Order days before President Obama left office.
  • One FWS official was author and the primary driver of the Order.
  • FWS violated agency procedures by failing to seek public comments on the Order.
  • Ashe used a non-standard process in drafting the Order within FWS, excluding multiple FWS employees who normally work on Director’s Orders.
  • FWS created no plan to implement the Order after its issuance