Recently the EHS Daily Advisor reported on the Grand Jury ruling by the Department of Justice United States Attorney District of South Carolina Office. The owner of a now-defunct South Carolina firing range services company that hauled away lead waste from more than 100 firing ranges in 16 states has been indicted by a grand jury for violating the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). If convicted, the owner of Welch Group Environmental faces up to 20 years in prison and more than $800,000 in fines against the company he once operated.

In response to a January 25, 2017 news report, in what Chattanooga police believe is a multi-state scam to steal brass from shooting ranges, James M. Barthel, President of Metals Treatment Technologies (MT2), stated, “It is sad to see how firing ranges are being taken advantage of, and how easy it is to be deceived. When a firing range loses money on metals such as brass and lead, it impacts their ability to be of service to their shooters; including law enforcement officers who frequently train at these public and private firing ranges.”

Barthel warns that firing ranges must verify upfront who they are dealing with, in light of the two recent news stories cited, and to request written records for the disposition of all materials leaving their range including brass, lead, or filters, and demand to know exactly where their waste will end up. In general, if it sounds too good to be true, there is likely something missing or corners being cut.

Unfortunately, when dealing with potentially valuable range commodities like lead and brass, you can never be too careful to ensure that the firing range will receive the proceeds promised. To avoid becoming a party to the next firing range scam, range owners should require prior references, insurance certificates, required licenses, and written contracts. Additionally, ranges should require complete disclosure of where the reclaimed materials are going, how they are being shipped (approved shipping per DOT), and the certifications/permits/licenses of the receiving facilities, especially waste facilities.

Firing range managers and owners under federal and state laws are always ultimately responsible for the proper handling, recycling, and waste disposal of all range materials including recyclable lead and hazardous waste, including filters.

MT2 is offering a free download on how to pre-qualify a range contractor upfront to avoid these issues and protect their firing range from liability or being scammed.

Barthel points out, “There are five critical validations you must demand from your contractor to protect you and your range, and we have included this simple checklist in our Firing Range Lead Reclamation Industry Report which also provides the important considerations a firing range must consider when choosing a lead reclamation contractor.”

Range owners interested in the Firing Range Hazardous Waste Industry Report can get more information at


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