Legislation that would completely ban lead ammunition from the state of California is sitting on Governor Jerry Brown’s (D) desk, waiting for his signature to become law.
California already has a lead ammo ban in eight counties, but the Democrat-dominated assembly wants to broaden the ban to cover the entire state.
According to Fox News, proponents of the ban claim it will protect endangered species, like the condor.
Proponents also “point to a 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control and the North Dakota Department of Public Health that concluded lead is so prevalent in meat harvested through hunting that pregnant women and children should never eat it.”
The NRA and others have countered these claims by saying, “the 2008 studies never conclusively linked consumption with illness in humans.” Moreover, because copper bullets are more expensive, forcing hunters to buy them instead of lead ammo would make hunting cost-prohibitive for many Californians. This, in turn, would reduce the number of hunters, and “the state would lose millions of dollars in hunting license fees that [currently] pay for conservation efforts.”
NRA lawyer Chuck Michel believes the danger posed by lead ammo to condors is overstated, as well: “These condors are flocking around… dump sites. They are vultures. They also congregate around lookout towers, and there are pictures of them eating the chipped lead paint. The point is, there are alternative sources of lead in the environment which are probably the source of the lead.”
Gov. Brown has until October 12 to decide whether to sign the bill.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.