Friday, May 17, 2013

California AB 711 - The Anti's Are At It Again...and Winning

Today I am infuriated as a hunter, not only as a bowhunter, but a hunter because the anti's and the government are one step closer to ending hunting altogether in California. Yesterday, AB 711 passed in the California State Assembly by a vote of 44-21. What is AB 711? The Bill is to end all use of lead ammunition in ALL (yes ALL) of California. No bird shot (which has been like this for a while), no slugs, no BULLETS in any way, shape or form.The bill was co-written by a Democrat from Lakewood, CA - Assemblyman Anthony Rendon. It now heads to the Senate floor.

They say it is easy for hunters to make the switch to non-lead ammo. Really? Is the CA state government going to start handing us vouchers for discounts on copper bullets? Not a chance. I think the gov't fails to have any foresight here. Think about this; if we can't afford to buy non-lead ammo, ammo sales will drop leading to hunting license sales dropping and pretty soon there will a huge loss of revenue for our CA gov't. Yeah, I am going to go out on a limb and say the Assembly is disillusioned and has blinders on as they are not thinking of the ramifications of this bill. Am I sounding off in the extreme? I don't think so. I am also a proponent of hunting. PERIOD. I continually encourage people to get out and hunt and enjoy the outdoors. Our government is trying to take that way from us. 

You know what this reminds me of? This reminds me of PROHIBITION. We all remember how that played out. Bottoms up!

Watch this video from and listen to the Game Commission heads who were against it. Listen to the scientists who dismiss the 'evidence' because it isn't substantiated because there is no evidence that says lead bullets are THE main cause to blame.

My brothers and sisters in California, this is an attack on hunting. They outlawed hunting with lead ammunition in the 'Condor Zone' because they said the condors were getting poisoned from lead bullets. While that may be true, the condors are STILL GETTING SICK and it isn't strictly from lead bullets or fragments. How about them eating lead paint or getting it naturally in the environment? There are plenty of other ways they can get sick. It's a smoke screen and a myth if you think the condors are getting sick STRICTLY from lead bullets. Where is the evidence of this in other states? Nowhere. Why? The HSUS and other anti-hunting organizations are targeting California because it's easier for them to get the easily-swayed government officials to change their minds and not get into any confrontation. They are using negative, fabricated media to sway them. We Californians need to band together and fight this with everything we have!!

Phillip Loughlin, who authors The Hog Blog and is an avid hunter, has been posting about the lead ammo issues for years. His latest post on the issue was on May 4th and he makes some great points:

Why wasn’t this risk assessed before the first condor was released back into the wild?  Why wasn’t this dialogue started, on a wide scale, before there were a bunch of zoo-bred birds flying around CA and AZ, dining on hunters’ deer, pig, and elk carcasses?

If I were planning to implement a program on federal land, I’d have to develop and complete a study on the program’s impacts to the environment.  I’d have to know what flora and fauna my activities might put at risk, and I might have to mitigate those risks.  If my activity impacted an endangered or threatened species, I’d have to jump through a series of additional, exhaustive processes and procedures to mitgate that impact or my project would have to be cancelled.  With this in mind, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that, before releasing an endangered or threatened species into the wild ecosystem, a similar set of studies and reports should also be completed, and risks addressed and mitigated before the project goes forward… especially considering that the species is being released right back into the same habitat conditions that nearly brought it to extinction in the first place.

Here are some other great points made by Robert Faraga at The Truth About Guns - AB 711 Could Kill Hunting in California. They are spot on and must be read!

A couple years ago, my friend Bill Howard wrote about the EPA going after lead ammo. It was written two (2) years ago.He makes some great points and even discusses the rising cost of ammo for everyday hunters and new hunters.

"Shotshells would not be the only ammunition regulated either.  Most hunting cartridges consist of a lead projectile.  A young hunter’s first rifle is often a .22 caliber.  Ammunition is cheap, so the youth can become familiar with the operation of the rifle by shooting many times.  A box of 100 .22 cartridges runs approximately $7.50.  Changing the composition of the bullet could increase the cost by 4 times that amount.  Again, the increase would likely eliminate many new hunter's first excursion, or at least repeated excursions into the outdoors."

The CA government thinks it will be easy for hunters to make the switch to non-lead ammo. Easy for whom? Copper bullets are expensive as hell!! You can't just go out and sight in your rifle without watching it squeeze blood out of your wallet. Have they tried buying shotgun ammo lately? Plus, have you tried to find any ammo these days? It's damn near impossible to locate it just to target practice... and that is expensive, too!

We ALL need to write our state Assembly, Senators and fight! We MUST do this! You can search for your local representatives here. Scroll down to 'My Elected Officials'. We need to flood them with phone calls, emails and letters and stand strong. If there was ever a time to fight for your rights as hunters it is NOW! Please write, call and let them know that you oppose this ban with heart and soul.

Oh, and today is Endangered Species Day. What an interesting thought as pretty soon hunters are going to be the endangered species in California.


  1. AB 711 must be stopped. Contact your representative, and let them know you are opposed to this legislation.

  2. Good stuff, Al. Harness that rage, and channel it to get other CA sportsmen motivated enough to get off their butts, quit complaining about the government, and do something about it. Maybe it's too late for CA, but the efforts to spread this around the country are unabated.

    Important, by the way, to keep to the facts. Stay away from speculation, because it will come back and bite you later... and that hurts your credibility.

    Good examples:

    Condors are almost certainly getting lead exposure from sources other than lead bullets. I think that's valid. However, they are still eating lead bullets in the condor zone. Anyone who thinks there's 100% compliance with the ban is naive. There are plenty of folks out there still shooting lead.

    Point is, though, expanding the ban around the state isn't going to change that. There are scofflaws, poachers, and ranchers who couldn't give a rat's ass about condors when it comes to knocking off the ground squirrels, hogs, and coyotes on their properties. There are people who simply don't know. I can't tell you how many hunters have shown up for hog hunts with "silvertip" ammo, believing it wasn't lead. It wasn't by design on their part... they honestly didn't know the difference, and in a couple of cases, they were told by the salesman that the ammo was legal in the condor zone! No amount of legislation is ever going to change this.

    Another meme running around is that lead-free ammo is technically a violation of the armor-piercing, or "cop killer" bullet ban. First of all, let's be clear that the ban on armor-piercing ammo only affects handguns... not long guns (because almost any centerfire rifle bullet will penetrate soft body armor). This harkens back to recent discussions at BATF in regards to the growing number of handguns that are chambered to shoot rifle ammunition, such as the Thompson Contender. Bottom line, there is no current threat to lead-free ammo on that front.

    As far as the EPA, let's be clear that they are not trying to ban lead ammo (or fishing tackle). The EPA is not authorized to pass any legislation on ammo, and they have twice rejected petitions to ban lead. I did recently hear that there's some backdoor maneuvering to change the law so that the Agency can rule on ammunition, but I haven't had a chance to follow up on that. Could be just hearsay. Nevertheless, the "enemy" here is the Center for Biological Diversity and their assorted cronies. They are the ones beating down the EPA's doors to jam this legislation through... and lord knows we better hope they're not successful. While the CA ban currently only applies to hunting, the proposal before the feds is to ban ALL lead ammo. That's right... your skeet shooters, target plinkers, competition shooters will all feel this one. It's not just hunters. Even law enforcement would be currently included (although the CBD claims that there will be some sort of exclusion for LE purposes, there's nothing in writing that says so).

    The thing here that is NOT an untruth is that the major driver behind all of this is the anti-hunting organizations. They do see this impending legislation as another victory in their incremental assault on CA hunters. Given the current make-up of the state government, they're not going to see much resistance in their efforts.

    CA hunters need to step up. Contacting your legislators is just a start. You guys need to seriously consider marching in the streets. Crowding every Senate session, and speaking out to the media (some of them will give you space or air time... just don't act like an idiot when you get on there. Stick to facts, not speculation, and don't play the "victim" game. Nobody buys that from hunters.) Seriously, the HSUS and other groups think they've got CA hunters over a barrel. That's not a place you want to be.

    1. Excellent tips, Phillip. I always appreciate your honesty and not skirting around a point (mainly me speculating). I wholeheartedly agree with what you have said. I understand what you are saying about the EPA. While I understand they can't pass legislation, they can push to have it done.

      Thank you for writing such a detailed response. This is just what we needed to read and we DO need to do more than just call and write. We need to show up!

    2. There were over 100 environmental groups who petitioned the EPA on taking action to ban lead, both in ammunition and fishing lures and sinkers. In April 2012, the House of Representatives passed a measure, along party lines mind you, to effectively reinforce the notion that the EPA could not. I have also seen things happen within different state wildlife agencies based on either agenda driven legislation or monetary driven legislation in which the purpose of new laws and regulations were based on false or faulty reports. Meanwhile, the biologists for those very same state's agencies kept insisting that the data was false and it passed anyway.
      Also, I find it interesting that data on dove mortality based on lead shot found in fields where hunts had taken place could cause massive kills, yet during the same period of the study, dove daily bag limits increased 25% (from 12 birds to 15 birds) due to higher dove populations. Which is it? Higher death tolls or higher populations?
      I think the real facts are we don't know what the real facts are. Politics and agendas drive just about every agency now, from the EPA, to the IRS, to weather and climate change.

    3. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

      I hunt almost exclusively with a bow but understand this is one more step to eliminate all hunting.

      If the Governor signs this into law I hope and trust that it will shock all sportsmen in the state and get them off their buts to do something to stop these assaults on sportsmen.

      The California Rifle and Pistol Association and its members are doing a fine job of trying to hold the line on this and all the other 50 or so bills that have been introduced to limit gun ownership and to take wildlife management out of the hands the scientific experts.

      I encourage everyone to join this fine organization to stay informed and involved. It is critical!