December 2, 2013
Because of heightened EPA regulations, Doe Run Company’s Herculaneum lead smelter in Herculaneum, Missouri—the last U.S. smelter of its kind—is closing its doors on December 31, 2013.
Once this happens, the lead for traditional ammunition will have to be imported, thus driving up the price for bullets, shotgun shells, etc.
The Herculaneum smelter has been operating in the same location since 1892. And according to the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), “it is the only smelter in the United States which can produce lead bullion from raw lead ore,” so once it closes, the only lead smelters left in the nation will be ones that recycle lead from existing items “such as lead acid batteries or spent ammunition components.”