A federal appeals court has ruled against environmentalists who are trying to force the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate spent lead bullets and lead shot used in hunting and shooting sports.

In a decision favorable to gun enthusiasts, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said Tuesday that environmental groups have suggested no way in which EPA could regulate spent lead bullets and shot without also regulating cartridges and shells.

The Toxic Substances Control Act exempts cartridges and shells from regulation.