LEAD FREE HUNTING AMMUNITION UPDATE
California to Require Use of Lead Free Hunting Ammunition State-wide by July 1, 2019. Proposed phase-in Regulation Currently Under Consideration for Adoption by the Fish and Game Commission. In October 2013 Assembly Bill 711 was approved by the Governor and chaptered into law by the Secretary of State. AB 711 added several sections to Fish and Game Code, one of which (3004.5(b)) requires a complete ban on the use of lead ammunition when taking wildlife anywhere in the State by July 1, 2019. This section also requires the Fish and Game Commission to develop a phase-in regulation by July 1, 2015 designed to impose the least burden on California’s hunters while still implementing the intent of the law. The new law builds on a previously enacted ban on the use of lead ammunition for big game hunting within the range of the California condor (see map at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/ condor). The California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) officially noticed the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) proposed phase-in regulation at their February 12, 2015 meeting in Sacramento. This proposal was based on public input received at 14 public scoping meetings held at various locations around the State and from the written comments provided from those who could not attend the scoping meetings. The proposal being considered for adoption can be found under the “Meetings” tab at www.fgc.ca.gov (meeting documents) or under the “Alerts” section at www.wildlife.ca.gov. Public comments on the proposed phase-in regulation will continue to be accepted until the scheduled adoption date of April 9, 2015. Major highlights of the proposed phase-in regulation include: 1. Non-lead ammunition will be required for all hunting on CDFW property beginning with the 2015 hunting season; 2. Bighorn sheep hunters will be required to use non-lead ammunition beginning with the 2015 season.