On the desk of California Governor Jerry Brown is a host of firearm-related bills, including a controversial ban on lead ammunition for hunting. Many critics believe that the bill will be a de facto ban on hunting, which is exactly why many sportsmen’s associations oppose AB 711. According to a press release from Californians for Conservation (CFC), several union leaders and their organizations are now lending their voice to the fight and calling on Brown to veto the bill.
“The coalition of Labor organizations and Labor leaders, which represent over 150,000 Union members, stand united in opposition to this bill which hurts working men and women,” the release read.
Included in the coalition is the Contra Costa Central Labor Council and the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District Lodge 190.
“Approximately 65% of all union households participate in hunting, fishing, or outdoor activities,” said Mark Gagliardi, a member of the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 277.
CFC, an organization of sportsmen and conservationists, further states that the ban on lead ammo could cost the state upwards of $14 million in habitat preservation funding if the bill passes. Supporters of AB 711 say that banning lead ammo will benefit the Californian condor, which may eat hunter-killed game and ingest lead bullets.
The bill is sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon California, and the Humane Society of the United States. These organizations point to studies that say that cases of bird poisoning are highest during popular hunting seasons. Opponents of the bill say that these studies are flawed and that banning lead ammunition will have no effect on the birds. Instead, critics say AB 711 could result in higher-priced ammunition and result in some hunters skipping the season entirely. You can read more about the debate here.
If passed, California will be the first state in the country to impose a complete statewide ban on lead ammo for hunting.