Today the Senate Appropriations Committee moved to pass Assembly Bill 711 (Rendon) which will effectively ban hunting in California by banning traditional lead ammunition; the first statewide ban of its kind in the nation.  The bill now moves to the California State Senate Floor and is opposed by a large coalition including every major hunting and sporting organization in California, as well as a coalition of Labor leaders and organizations concerned about the impact to their members.

Proponents of the bill have argued that hunters could simply switch to non-lead ammunition, but alternative metals are classified as “armor piercing” by the federal government and require a special permission to make, sell or possess. Thus far, the federal government has refused to grant permission.  Alternative ammunition would be exceedingly expensive and supplies would not meet the demands of hunters.  By eliminating hunting in California, the state would lose millions in conservation funding that depends upon ammunition and license fees paid by hunters.

Despite the unavailability of alternative ammunitions, the committee passed the bill, although it was amended to delay implementation of the lead ban until 2019.

“Not only does passage of this bill needlessly jeopardize millions of dollars of federal conservation funding California receives annually as articulated by the Department of Finance analysis of the bill, but these new amendments shine a light on supporters’ true intentions,” noted National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence Keane. “Their goal is to end hunting and sports shooting, beginning with California.

“Both the Department of Fish and Wildlife and bill proponents led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have largely ignored concerns of ammunition manufacturers and the hunting community.  While proponents talk publicly about an immediate concern for the health of wildlife ingesting traditional lead ammunition, delaying this bill makes that urgency argument moot.  Instead, this legislation seems aimed at crippling California’s hunting community and industry and mission driven by organizations that want hunting banned.” There is no sound science that California’s hunters use of traditional ammunition is adversely impacting wildlife populations. Supporters of the bill also knowingly falsely claim that using traditional ammunition poses a human health risk to hunters.

Logo courtesy National Sport Shooting Foundation

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