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<b>THE NEW NORM?</b>  Though California is the first state in the country to ban lead ammunition, other states are considering their own restrictions.

THE NEW NORM? Though California is the first state in the country to ban lead ammunition, other states are considering their own restrictions.


California Bans Lead Ammo

Concerns Over Condor Drive State to Be Country’s First to Phase Out Traditional Ammunition


Friday, October 11, 2013
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Governor Jerry Brown today signed landmark legislation to ban the use of lead-based ammunition throughout the state of California, with the prohibition going into full effect by the middle of 2019. The bill — authored by Anthony Rendon, a Democrat from South Gate, and co-sponsored by Santa Barbara’s Democratic Assemblymember Das Williams — was introduced due to lead’s impact on the health of wildlife, particularly the endangered California condor, whose populations are still suffering from lead poisoning despite the ammo being banned in its range since 2008. There are also concerns about its eventual impact on human health as well.

The risks to California’s incredibly diverse wildlife are many,” Brown wrote upon signing the law. “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 also included language that, if the federal government ever bans other forms of ammo — like copper — would allow the state ban to be lifted.

Many hunters — 247,000 of whom were registered in California last year — were wary of the bill because non-lead ammo is more expensive to buy. With a statewide ban, however, there is a possibility that nonlead ammo will eventually decrease in price. Almost all popular ammo was lead until 1991 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service banned lead ammunition in the hunting of waterfowl, making way for more than a dozen lead-free ammunition types available across 35 calibers and 51 rifle cartridge designations.

Earlier this year, a team of scientists, doctors, and public health experts released a statement through the University of California’s online publication system decrying lead’s toxic effects on humans and wildlife, and wondering why lead ammunition — in their estimation, the biggest source of lead added to the environment — is still legal when products like paint, gasoline, and kids’ toys have become lead-free. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, lead is hazardous to people and animals at any level, as poisoning can impair growth, inflict neurological damage, and cause death.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

why ban lead ammo for target shooting? paper target don't eat bullets.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
October 11, 2013 at 5:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The ban is for hunting only, not target shooting.

1234 (anonymous profile)
October 11, 2013 at 8:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

ok! but I wonder how they think to enforce?

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
October 12, 2013 at 9:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@JohnLocke,

The DFW, old DFG, claims more than a 98% voluntary compliance of no-lead in the Condor Zone. So DFW will enforce it. The Condor is still going extinct but now everyone will Feel Good about it. A wild creature that is fed at feeding stations is no longer Wild and their habitat was paved over and damned up many moons ago.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
October 12, 2013 at 12:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Solving the lead problem is key to have self-sustaining populations of condors. I don't think it is a case of "feel good" - but rather a case of doing something about a problem that needs to be fixed. Hats off to those who have spent hours in trying to save the condors. It took effort, not just feelings, to do that.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
October 13, 2013 at 1:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If condors are eating lead-infested carrion, doesn't it stand to reason they will be poisoned by their meal?

It seems reasonable that taking lead out of the food chain is a good idea.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 13, 2013 at 5:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Car Batteries are actually the leading source of Lead being introduced into the environment and have been for decades. Lead Paint is number 2.

GluteousMaximus (anonymous profile)
October 13, 2013 at 6:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Glute, a scavenger species is being decimated by lead. Batteries and paint aren't the problem, it's lead bullet fragments in shot animals.

Condors MAY be "going extinct" for other reasons too, but they deserve this chance at survival. It's a worthy experiment, at the very least.

These animals are totally boggling! Before I had ever seen them, I figured, eh, they're probably like eagles only bigger. But then, at Figueroa Mtn, kazaam, they were another thing entirely! They flew like man-made gliders, straight-lining between thermals, then regaining altitude, and never flapping their wings. At Sawmill Mtn, seeing 8 at one time was an experience I deeply wish on all young nature lovers. Another time, at Long Valley (south of Mt Pinos), it occured to me that since I was hiking in condor country, I oughta look up. Well, exactly above me was a circling rosette of condors! HUGE, black and white birds in the sky. Why should aging hikers like me take experiences like that with us to our graves?

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
October 13, 2013 at 7:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The best condor viewing sites in California:

http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/cabi...

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
October 13, 2013 at 7:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

On a recent visit to the Grand Canyon, I was surprised to learn California Condors have been re-introduced there:

http://www.nps.gov/grca/naturescience...

No sightings, but hopefully next time.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 13, 2013 at 11:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Johnny Cash killed fifty of them with a match!

touristunfriendly (anonymous profile)
October 13, 2013 at 11:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I AM ASTONISHED BY THE LACK OF EDUCATION OF THESE READERS! LEAD AMMUNITION.......HARMS FAR MORE THAN THE CONDORS.

DOVES; JUST ONE EXAMPLE, WHO ARE SHOT WITH LEAD AMMUNTION; POISON COYOTES, BOBCATS, RACCOONS,......THE LEAD POISONING FROM THE AMMUNITION......GOES RIGHT DOWN THROUGH THE FOOD CHAIN TO THE FISH.

WHEN AN ANIMAL......IS POISONED BY LEAD.......(BY EATING A DOVE, FOR EXAMPLE); IT TAKES A YEAR OR MORE TO DIE. AND IT SUFFERS TERRIBLY.....IT BECOMES WEAKENED; GRADUALLY.....UNABLE TO FEND FOR ITSELF. SO IT BECOMES EASY PREY; AND IT SUFFERS UNTIL IT IS EITHER EATEN; OR DIES A HORRIFIC DEATH.

GOVERNER BROWN SIGNED THAT BILL THIS WEEK! BRAVO! THERE IS NOT ONE EXCUSE TO HAVE LEAD IN AMMUNITION! COPPER AND OTHER METALS QRE JUST AS EFFECTIVE IN KILLING THINGS WITH GUNS........LEAD JUST SPREADS THE SUFFERING AND POSSIBLE EXTINCTION OF OTHER ANIMALS!

penelopeb (anonymous profile)
October 14, 2013 at 1:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

penelopeb, your caps lock is on!

discoboy (anonymous profile)
October 14, 2013 at 9:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So, what will bullets be made of instead of lead? Copper is pretty expensive.

tlacuache (anonymous profile)
October 18, 2013 at 6:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I can see why they'd ban the lead, but I'm not entirely pleased to hear about it though. I'm a hunter myself. Also the man above made a good point about car batteries being filled with lead too. I'd like to imagine to recycling process for those isn't all that amazing.

markadams (anonymous profile)
October 25, 2013 at 1:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Consul

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