BILL NUMBER: AB 711 AMENDED
AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 12, 2013
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 17, 2013
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MARCH 19, 2013
INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Rendon
coauthor: Assembly Member
Pan coauthors: Assembly
Members Alejo, Gatto, and Pan
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Ammiano, Blumenfield, Fong,
Holden, Stone, and Williams)
(Coauthor: Senator Steinberg)
FEBRUARY 21, 2013
An act to amend Section 3004.5 of the Fish and Game Code, relating
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
AB 711, as amended, Rendon. Hunting: nonlead ammunition.
Existing law requires the Fish and Game Commission, by July 1,
2008, to establish by regulation a public process to certify
centerfire rifle and pistol ammunition as nonlead ammunition, and to
define by regulation nonlead ammunition as including only centerfire
rifle and pistol ammunition in which there is no lead content.
Existing law requires the commission to establish and annually update
a list of certified centerfire rifle and pistol ammunition.
Existing law requires that nonlead ammunition, as determined by
the commission, be used when taking big game with a rifle or pistol,
as defined by the Department of Fish and Wildlife's hunting
regulations, and when taking coyote, within specified deer hunting
zones, but excluding specific counties and areas. A violation of
these provisions is a crime. Existing law requires the commission to
establish a process, to the extent that funding is available, that
will provide hunters in these specified deer hunting zones with
nonlead ammunition at no or reduced charge.
This bill would revise and recast these provisions to require the
use of nonlead ammunition for the taking of all wildlife, including
game mammals, game birds, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, with
any firearm. The bill would require the commission, by July
1, 2014, commission to certify, by regulation,
nonlead ammunition for these purposes. The bill would require
that the list of certified ammunition include any federally approved
nontoxic shotgun ammunition. The bill would make conforming
changes. The bill would provide that these provisions do not apply to
government officials or their agents when carrying out a mandatory
statutory duty required by law.
The bill would require the commission to promulgate regulations by
July 1, 2014, 2015, that phase in the
requirements of these provisions. The bill would require that these
requirements be fully implemented statewide by no later than July 1,
2016. 2018. The bill would require
the commission to implement any of these requirements that can be
implemented practicably, in whole or in part, in advance
of July 1, 2018. The bill would also require that the
commission not reduce or eliminate any existing regulatory
restrictions on the use of lead ammunition in California condor
habitat unless or until the additional requirements for use of
nonlead ammunition as required by these provisions are implemented.
By expanding and changing the definition of a crime, the bill
would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the
(a) California's wildlife species represent the state's rich
natural resources and environmental health and beauty.
(b) California's wildlife species play an important role in the
state's environmental health.
(c) Fifty years of research have shown that the presence of lead
in the environment poses an ongoing threat to the health of the
general public and the viability of the state's wildlife species,
including federally listed threatened and endangered species.
(d) The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines lead
as toxic to both humans and animals, and lead can affect almost
every organ and system in the human body, including the heart, bones,
intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems. It
interferes with the development of the nervous system and is
therefore particularly toxic to children, causing potentially
permanent learning and behavior disorders.
(e) Lead is a potent neurotoxin, for which no safe exposure level
exists for humans. The use of lead has been outlawed in and removed
from paint, gasoline, children's toys, and many other items to
protect human health and wildlife.
(f) Routes of human and wildlife exposure to lead include
contaminated air, water, soil, and food. Lead ammunition in felled
wildlife is often consumed by other animals and passed along the food
chain. Dairy and beef cattle have developed lead poisoning after
feeding in areas where spent lead ammunition has accumulated. Spent
lead ammunition can also be mingled into crops, vegetation, and
(g) Efforts to limit wildlife exposure to lead ammunition have
been successful. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service banned
the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting decades ago, and both
hunting and waterfowl have thrived since. California passed a
successful law preventing the use of lead ammunition in condor
habitat. However, because these restrictions only apply in certain
areas or to the hunting of particular species, many species of
wildlife remain threatened by the use of lead ammunition and more
protections are needed. These successes have shown us how to extend
protection from lead poisoning to other wildlife.
(h) A variety of nonlead ammunition is readily available. Studies
have shown that nonlead ammunition performs as well as, or better
than, lead-based ammunition.
(i) Given the deleterious impacts of lead ammunition, regulations
for the use of nonlead ammunition should be implemented as soon as
practicable in California. The Fish and Game Commission should
implement the requirement for the use of nonlead ammunition
incrementally, if practicable, to provide for increasing protection
from lead exposure until full compliance with the nonlead ammunition
requirement is achieved.
SEC. 2. Section 3004.5 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to
3004.5. (a) Nonlead ammunition, as determined by the commission,
shall be required when taking all wildlife, including game mammals,
game birds, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, with any firearm.
(b) By July 1, 2014, the (1)
The commission shall establish,
maintain, by regulation, a public process to certify
ammunition as nonlead ammunition, and shall define, by regulation,
nonlead ammunition as including only ammunition in which there is no
lead content. The commission shall establish and annually update a
list of certified ammunition.
(2) The list of certified ammunition shall include, but not be
limited to, any federally approved nontoxic shotgun ammunition.
(c) (1) To the extent that funding is available, the commission
shall establish a process that will provide hunters with nonlead
ammunition at no or reduced charge. The process shall provide that
the offer for nonlead ammunition at no or reduced charge may be
redeemed through a coupon sent to a permitholder with the appropriate
permit tag. If available funding is not sufficient to provide
nonlead ammunition at no charge, the commission shall set the value
of the reduced charge coupon at the maximum value possible through
available funding, up to the average cost within this state for
nonlead ammunition, as determined by the commission.
(2) The nonlead ammunition coupon program described in paragraph
(1) shall be implemented only to the extent that sufficient funding,
as determined by the Department of Finance, is obtained from local,
federal, public, or other nonstate sources in order to implement the
(3) If the nonlead ammunition coupon program is implemented, the
commission shall issue a report on the usage and redemption rates of
ammunition coupons. The report shall cover calendar years 2008, 2009,
and 2012. Each report shall be issued by June of the following year.
(d) The commission shall issue a report on the levels of lead
found in California condors. This report shall cover calendar years
2008, 2009, and 2012. Each report shall be issued by June of the
(e) The department shall notify those hunters who may be affected
by this section.
(f) A person who violates any provision of this section is guilty
of an infraction punishable by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500).
A second or subsequent offense shall be punishable by a fine of not
less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more than five thousand
(g) This section does not apply to government officials or their
agents when carrying out a mandatory statutory duty required by law.
(h) The commission shall promulgate regulations by July 1,
2014, 2015, that phase in the
requirements of this section. The requirements of this section shall
be fully implemented statewide by no later than July 1,
2016. 2018. If any of the requirements of
this section can be implemented practicably, in whole or in part, in
advance of July 1, 2018, the commission shall implement those
requirements. The commission shall not reduce or eliminate any
existing regulatory restrictions on the use of lead ammunition in
California condor habitat unless or until the additional requirements
for use of nonlead ammunition as required by this section are
SEC. 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California