California Bans All Lead Ammo for Hunting
Even though California's game wardens opposed a bill banning lead ammunition for hunting, Gov. Jerry Brown signed it into law on Oct. 11. The governor signed 10 other bills that made gun-control advocates happy and vetoed 7.
This law expands the current prohibition of lead ammunition in designated condor areas of the state to the entire state, and instructs the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) to impose regulations regarding the ban no later than July 2015, with the entire ban in effect by July 2019. However, and this bears watching, the governor also authorized the CDFW to suspend the lead ammo ban if the federal government makes good on its threat to band non-lead ammunition because it can pierce the armor of law enforcement. Now, that will be interesting. Bowhunting will look mighty appealing then.
In an article in USA Today, Brown lists lead's dangers to wildlife as the main reason he signed the bill. However, USA Today also included reference to a letter, written in opposition to the ban by the California Game Warden Association: "California Game Wardens are on the front line enforcing the ban on lead ammunition for most hunting in condor range. But there is insufficient data to justify such a drastic action across the entire state."
The Center for Biological Diversity pushed for the lead ban. Considered among the top 10 anti-hunting organizations in this country, the Center for Biological Diversity currently is running campaigns against the Keystone Pipeline's path, against hunting wolves and other species, and generally against most forms of hunting. Period.
You may read about the other laws and vetoes passed in California and listed in USA Today, the when's and why's of more regulations in a state that already limits the freedoms of its residents in so many ways, and demands so much in return in taxation.
It will be interesting to see what the results are in say, 2029. Will the lead-free ban have played a big role in the increased population and better health of condors? Since the initial lead ban in designated regions in 2008, the death rates of condors has not decreased. Other populations of game and wildlife may rise, too - same as the bear and bobcat populations are doing - but that will be because no one hunts them any longer. However, I'm sure the Center for Biological Diversity and its cronies will praise the lead ban for that outcome, too.