Governor Brown Signs Bill Banning Use of Lead Ammo for Hunting in CaliforniaSubmitted by GCN3030 on Fri, 10/11/2013 - 21:23
In a move to protect wildlife and the environment, California on Friday became the first state to ban lead in hunting ammunition.
The measure, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, phases out lead bullets and shot by July 2019, with regulations due by July 2015.
"Lead poses a danger to wildlife. This danger has been known for a long time," Brown wrote in a signing message, noting that a leading conservation wrote about lead poisoning in 1984. The federal government banned lead ammunition from waterfowl hunting in 1991.
The measure expands an earlier ban on lead hunting ammunition in California condor habitat. The new law covers all wildlife, including "game mammals, game birds, nongame birds and nongame mammals" such as coyotes.
"The risks to California's incredibly diverse wildlife are many," Brown wrote. "We must manage our state's wildlife for the use and enjoyment of all Californians. It is time to begin this transition and provide hunters with ammunition that will allow them to continue the conservation heritage of California."
Brown noted changes to the legislation that "better protect the hunting community," including authorizing the state's Fish & Wildlife director to suspend the ban if the federal government outlaws nonlead ammunition because it can pierce armor.