KCET.org; Chris Clarke 10/14/13
Banned! | Photo: mr. smashy/Flickr/Creative Commons License
A bill signed Friday by Governor Jerry Brown will make it illegal to use lead ammunition for hunting, making California the first state to ban the heavy metal from hunters’ shot and bullets. The bill was roundly supported by most environmental organizations, and just as roundly opposed by hunting groups.
AB 711, introduced by Los Angeles area Assembly member Anthony Rendon, requires that non-lead ammunition be used in all hunting of mammals, birds, and other wildlife by July, 2019. The law also requires the state’s Fish and Game Commission to certify a list of non-lead ammunition by 2014.
As a nod to hunters, the law also contains an escape clause lifting the lead ammo ban if federal laws start classifying non-lead ammunition as prohibited “armor-piercing” bullets. The gun lobby had expressed concern that the lead ban might end up effectively making hunting illegal if the feds banned non-lead ammo.