CA and feds take aim at hunting ammo

by Katy Grimes | July 26, 2013 9:31 am

California is attempting to be the first state in the nation to kill wild game hunting.

images-1[1]By prohibiting the use of all lead ammunition for hunting in California, coupled with the federal government’s attempt to ban non-lead ammo, hunters could be left out in the woods with an empty weapon.

According to Sam Paredes with Gun Owners of California[2], if the state and federal bans are actually passed, the only alternative ammunition available would be pure gold bullets. That might be advantageous for the assassin Francisco Scaremonger[3], in the “Man with the Golden Gun,” but it’s bad for Californians.

Hunting is being attacked as part of a campaign to ban the use of traditional ammunition, which is comprised of lead core components.

Anti-gun activists become anti-ammo activists

In addition to the many anti-gun bills proposed by California Democrats, they’ve discovered the way around these unpopular bills is by banning lead ammunition. Assembly Bill 711[4],  by freshman Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Southgate, would effectively ban hunting under the guise of “protecting the environment.”

AB 711 [5]is just one of many bills in the Legislature this year which seek to weaken the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution[6].

Why can’t hunters just use non-lead ammo?  The problem is that the federal government is on the brink of banning non-lead ammo, according to Assemblyman Brian Jones. In California this would mean there would be no ammunition available for hunting.

The bill has been held in suspense in the Senate Appropriations Committee, ostensibly because of the negative financial impact it would have on the Fish and Game Commission.


According[8] to the Department of Fish and Wildlife:

* “The annual spending by America’s 14 million hunters amounts to $61 billion. 

* “Hunting supported 704,600 million jobs, or nearly 1 percent of America’s entire civilian labor force, in all sectors of the American economy.

* “Hunting created household income (salaries and wages) totaling $416.1 billion, which is roughly equivalent to 25 percent of America’s entire military payroll.

* “Hunting added $1.4 billion to state tax revenues, or nearly 1 percent of all annual state tax revenues combined.

* “Hunting contributed $1.7 billion in federal income taxes, which equates to almost half of the entire federal budget for commerce.”

Many expect the committee will pass AB 711, under pressure from the anti-gun lobby, environmentalists, the Audubon Society and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. If so, the economic impact to California would be significant.


The department, formerly named the Department of Fish and Game when it was more friendly to hunters, has tried for several years to ban lead ammunition in California, claiming the California Condor has been dying off because of lead bullets. Unable to mandate the ban, the agency turned to the Legislature. But charges of phony science plague the attempted ban.

Faulty science

“Without such a ban, extinction of the California condor is inevitable[10], according to a 2012 study by the National Academy of Sciences,” Yale Environment 360 claims[11].

“Many of the scientific papers used by anti-lead ammunition proponents to support lead ammunition bans have consistently been critiqued for questionable scientific practices,” according[12] to “These researchers have used flawed scientific methodology and have selectively cherry picked data to support their preconceived conclusions, while routinely ignoring alternative sources of lead in the environment.”

According to Sam Paredes of Gun Owners of California[2], this isn’t the first attempt to falsely claim California Condors are being poisoned by hunters. Paredes said in 2007 the proponents of one of the nation’s first lead ammunition bans, AB 821[13], claimed that California condors were being poisoned by consuming hunters’ lead ammunition. They promised that, if hunters stopped using lead ammunition in the condor range, the lead poisoning would cease.

But Paredes said blood-lead levels in California condors have not declined because condors are exposed to alternative sources of bioavailable lead[14], including documented evidence of lead paint chip and lead-contaminated microtrash ingestion.  The AB 821 lead ammunition ban (the Ridley-Tree Condor Preservation Act[15]) has done nothing to prevent the alternative sources of lead in the condor zone.


North Dakota study refutes enviros

In May 2008, the North Dakota Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study measuring the risk, if any, of eating wild game harvested with lead bullets.

The study was designed to determine whether people who eat wild game have higher blood lead levels than people who don’t.

The study found no elevated levels of lead in the families of hunters, who regularly eat wild game.

“The geometric mean of the CDC study of 1.17 micrograms per deciliter was lower than the geometric mean of lead in the overall U.S. population (1.60 micrograms per deciliter),” the NRA reported[17]. “More than 86 percent of the people in the CDC test reported eating more than one type of wild game.”

Yet the North Dakota Department of Health[18] reported their findings a little differently, clearly under pressure from special interest groups:

“Based on the results of the CDC blood lead level study and a Minnesota bullet study, the North Dakota Department of Health has developed the following recommendations to minimize the risk of harm to people who are most vulnerable to the effects of lead:

* “Pregnant women and children younger than 6 should not eat any venison harvested with lead bullets.

* “Older children and other adults should take steps to minimize their potential exposure to lead, and use their judgment about consuming game that was taken using lead-based ammunition.

* “The most certain way of avoiding lead bullet fragments in wild game is to hunt with non-lead bullets.

* “Hunters and processors should follow the processing recommendations developed by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.”

Their new “recommendations” were hardly evidence of serious lead poisoning problems.

Hunters have eaten venison taken with lead bullets for hundreds of years. Yet according to the NRA and, there is not one documented case of lead poisoning from eating deer meat. Doctors are required to report all cases of lead poisoning to the Centers for Disease Control, yet according CDC Public Health adviser Kimball Credle[19], no cases have ever been traced to wild game meat.

Federal law

“Federal law allows the U.S. Attorney General through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to make a finding or determination that an alternative ammunition projectile or projectile core is intended to be used for a ‘sporting purpose,’ Jones explained.

“To date the ATF has received approximately 19 petitions filed by ammunition manufacturers seeking a ‘sporting purpose’ exemption for alternative ammunition for the hunting market nationwide, and at this point in time the ATF has failed to rule on any of the petitions. Some of these petitions are reported to have been pending since August of 2011.”

  1. [Image]:
  2. Gun Owners of California:
  3. Francisco Scaremonger:
  4. Assembly Bill 711:
  5. AB 711 :
  6. Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
  7. [Image]:
  8. According:
  9. [Image]:
  10. extinction of the California condor is inevitable:
  11. claims:
  12. according:
  13. AB 821:
  14. bioavailable lead:
  15. (the Ridley-Tree Condor Preservation Act:
  16. [Image]:
  17. reported:
  18. North Dakota Department of Health:
  19. Kimball Credle:

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