BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó


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                                    THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 711
          Author:   Rendon (D), et al.
          Amended:  9/4/13 in Senate
          Vote:     21

          AYES:  Pavley, Evans, Hueso, Jackson, Lara, Monning, Wolk
          NOES:  Cannella, Fuller

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  5-2, 8/30/13
          AYES:  De León, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg
          NOES:  Walters, Gaines

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  44-21, 5/16/13 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Hunting:  nonlead ammunition

            SOURCE  :     Audubon California
                       Defenders of Wildlife 
                       The Humane Society of the United States 

           DIGEST  :    This bill requires, as soon as practicable, but by no  
          later than July 1, 2019, the use of nonlead ammunition for the  
          taking of wildlife in California.

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 9/4/13 make technical and clarifying  
          change to correct an inadvertent omission on prior amendments.

           ANALYSIS  :    



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          Existing law:

          1. Requires the use of nonlead centerfire rifle and pistol  
             ammunition when taking big game or coyotes in specified deer  
             hunting zones known to be California condor range.

          2. Requires the Fish and Game Commission (Commission) to certify  
             nonlead ammunition by regulation and defines nonlead  
             ammunition to include only centerfire rifle and pistol  
             ammunition in which there is no lead content.  Requires the  
             Commission to annually update the list of certified nonlead  

          3. Authorizes the Commission, to the extent funding is  
             available, to establish a process to provide hunters within  
             specified deer hunting zones known to be California condor  
             range with nonlead ammunition at no or reduced charge.

          4. Prohibits the use of lead ammunition to hunt waterfowl  
             (United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regulation).

          5. Restricts the importing, manufacturing, or sale of  
             armor-piercing ammunition, as specified.

          This bill:

          1. Defines nonlead ammunition, as including only ammunition in  
             which there is no lead content.  

          2. Requires, as soon a practicable, but by no later than July 1,  
             2019, the use of nonlead ammunition for the taking of all  
             wildlife in California, including game mammals, game birds,  
             nongame birds, and nongame mammals, with any firearm;  
             requires the Commission to certify, by regulation, nonlead  
             ammunition for these purposes; and, requires that the list of  
             certified ammunition include any federally approved nontoxic  
             shotgun ammunition.

          3. Requires the Commission to also adopt regulations by July 1,  
             2015, that phase in the nonlead ammunition requirements to be  
             fully implemented statewide by no later than July 1, 2019;  
             requires the Commission to implement any of these  
             requirements that can be implemented practicably, in whole or  
             in part, prior to July 1, 2019.


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          4. Provides that the existing restrictions on use of lead  
             ammunition in California condor range, as described, continue  
             in effect until the statewide nonlead ammunition requirements  
             are implemented.

          5. Expands the Commission's existing authority to establish a  
             process to provide hunters with nonlead ammunition at no or  
             reduced charge within certain hunting zones, to instead apply  

          6. States legislative findings and declarations regarding the  
             threats to public health and wildlife posed by lead in the  
             environment, and the availability of nonlead ammunition  

          7. Suspends, temporarily, the required use of nonlead ammunition  
             for a specific hunting season and caliber upon a finding by  
             the Director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife that  
             nonlead ammunition of a specific caliber is not commercially  
             available from any manufacturer because of federal  
             prohibitions relating to armor-piercing ammunition. 

          8. Requires, notwithstanding a suspension, that nonlead  
             ammunition be used when taking big game mammals, nongame  
             birds, or nongame mammals in the California condor range.

          9. Requires the Commission to maintain, by regulation, a public  
             process to certify ammunition as nonlead ammunition, and  
             define, by regulation, nonlead ammunition as including only  
             ammunition in which there is no lead content, excluding the  
             presence of trace amounts of lead and requires the Commission  
             to establish and annually update a list of certified  

          Lead has long been known to be a toxic substance with no  
          biological benefits whose effects are considered to be  
          cumulative.  According to the United States Environmental  
          Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control, lead is  
          toxic to both humans and animals.  It is a potent neurotoxin to  
          which pregnant women and children are particularly susceptible,  
          and there is no safe exposure level established for humans.  As  


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          a result, lead has been removed from paint, gasoline, children's  
          toys and other items.  Exposure to lead is by inhalation,  
          ingestion and dermal contact from contaminated air, water, soil  
          and food.

          In the wild, higher order predators can be exposed to lead from  
          eating wildlife shot with lead ammunition.  Other exposure  
          routes can include eating in areas with substantial  
          environmental lead.  For example, there is a report that dairy  
          and beef cattle fed in areas where spent lead ammunition has  
          accumulated can also be a source of lead in the food chain.  In  
          some locations, the United States Geological Survey has  
          estimated that upland hunting fields may contain as much as  
          400,000 lead shot per acre.

          The Ridley-Tree Condor Preservation Act (AB 821, Nava, Chapter  
          520, Statutes of 2007) requires the use of nonlead centerfire  
          rifle and pistol ammunition when taking big game or coyotes in  
          specified deer hunting zones in the California condor range.   
          California banned the use of lead ammunition within California  
          condor ranges to reduce the risk of lead poisoning to the  
          critically endangered species.  Lead poisoning was shown to be a  
          leading cause of mortality in condors, as condors are scavengers  
          and feed primarily on dead carrion - a source of ingested lead.   
          Condors and other wildlife - including avian predators and  
          scavengers such as bald eagles, golden eagles, turkey vultures,  
          red-tailed hawks and ravens, remained threatened by  
          environmental lead.  Numerous upland game bird species,  
          including mourning doves, ring-necked pheasants and wild  
          turkeys, are also threatened by lead poisoning and, thus, the  
          continued high levels of environmental lead.  For example,  
          mourning doves suffer acute effects from lead ingestion and  
          research has shown that changes induced in their behavior within  
          a day of eating lead result in increased mortality.  Missouri  
          banned the use of lead shot in state conservation areas several  
          years ago upon determining that approximately 6.5% of mourning  
          doves ate lead shot, thus killing almost as many doves annually  
          as hunters did.

          Existing law also requires the Commission to certify nonlead  
          ammunition by regulation, and update its certified ammunition  
          list annually. In an effort to combat lead poisoning of water  
          fowl, the USFWS banned the use of lead shells for waterfowl  
          hunting in the 1991.  While the state and federal government  


                                                                     AB 711

          have adopted some successful restrictions on the use of lead  
          ammunition in the instances noted above, these restrictions only  
          apply in certain areas or to particular species or types of  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

           Ongoing costs of $45,000 from the Fish and Game Preservation  
            Fund (special) for the Commission to update regulations  
            annually on the list of certified ammunition and related  
            education materials. 

           Likely minor impacts to enforcement costs.

           Increased cost pressures for program to supply hunters with  
            nonlead ammunition at a no or reduced costs

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  9/4/13)

          Audubon California (co-source)
          Defenders of Wildlife (co-source)
          The Humane Society of the United States (co-source)
          Action for Animals
          Alameda Creek Alliance
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 
          Animal Welfare Institute
          Born Free USA
          California Coastal Protection Network
          California for a Healthy and Green Economy 
          California Wolf Center
          Cape Wildlife Center
          Center for Biological Diversity
          Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation
          Children Now
          City of Los Angeles
          City of Oakland
          Clean Water Action


                                                                     AB 711

          Department of Fish and Wildlife
          Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care
          Endangered Habitats League
          Environment California
          Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
          Environmental Defense Center
          Environmental Protection Information Center
          Environmental Working Group
          Forests Forever
          Friends of Five Creeks
          Friends of the Eel River
          Green Cities California
          Helping Our Peninsula's Environment
          Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association
          Injured & Orphaned Wildlife
          Klamath Forest Alliance 
          Klamath Forest Alliance
          Los Angeles County Democratic Party
          Los Padres Forest Watch
          Marin County Board of Supervisors
          MOMS Advocating Sustainability
          Northcoast Environmental Center
          Northern California Council Federation of Fly Fishers
          PAW PAC
          Preserve Lamorinda Open Space
          Project Coyote
          Protecting Earth & Animals with Compassion & Education
          Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, California
          Public Interest Coalition
          Rainforest Action Network
          Raptors are the Solution
          Regional Parks Association
          Salmon Protection and Watershed Network
          San Fernando Valley Audubon Society 
          Santa Clara County Activists for Animals
          Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society 
          Santa Cruz SPCA
          Save the Frogs
          Sierra Club California
          Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition  
          Social Compassion in Legislation
          Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
          State Humane Association of California 
          Stewards of the Earth


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          Strawberry Creek Watershed Council
          Tehama Wild Care
          The Nature Conservancy
          The Paw Project
          Try-City Ecology Center
          Turtle Island Restoration Network
          Ventana Wilderness Alliance
          Wild Equity Institute

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  9/9/13)

          Alliance of Dogmen
          Animal Pest Management Services, Inc
          Board of Supervisors County of Madera
          Boone & Crockett Club
          CALGuns Shooting Sports Association
          California Association of Federal Firearms Licenses 
          California Association of Firearms Retailers 
          California Bowmen Hunters State Archery Association
          California Coalition of Diving Advocates
          California Deer Association
          California Outdoor Heritage Alliance
          California Rifle & Pistol Association
          California Sportsman's Lobby 
          Campfire Club of America
          Catch a Dream Foundation
          Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
          Conservation Force
          Contra Costa Central Labor Council
          County of Lake Board of Supervisors
          Crossroads of the West
          Chief Steward Western United States, Office and Professional  
              International Union 277
          Delta Waterfowl
          Ducks Unlimited
          Gun Owners of California
          Masters of Foxhounds Foundation
          Mishewal-Wappo Tribe Alexander Valley
          Mule Deer Foundation
          National Rifle Association
          National Shooting Sports Foundation


                                                                     AB 711

          National Trappers Association
          National Wild Turkey Federation
          North American Bear Foundation
          Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of California 
          Pope & Young Club
          Quality Deer Management Association
          Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
          Ruffled Grouse Society
          Safari Club International
          U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance
          Whitetails Unlimited
          Wild Sheep Foundation
          Wildlife Forever
          Wildlife Management Institute

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author, "Assembly Bill  
          711 is a long overdue reform. [?] Lead is a toxin that is bad  
          for human health and the environment, and lead ammunition  
          exposes humans and other animals to this life-threatening  
          poison. [?] Lead-based ammunition is one of the greatest sources  
          of lead discharged to our lands and water.  Scientists agree  
          that this poses a significant risk to human health and the  
          environment.  Meat from animals shot with lead ammunition poses  
          as a health risk to humans. Because lead shatters upon impact,  
          meat from animals shot by hunters using lead ammunition often  
          contains tiny fragments of lead that are ingested by humans and  
          other animals."

          "Lead ammunition still threatens the California Condor, Golden  
          Eagle and other protected species.  Similarly, one in five  
          free-flying condors has ingested such significant levels of lead  
          from these sources that they are at risk of dying from lead  
          poisoning.  [?] Just last year, a study published by the  
          National Academy of Sciences concluded that unless lead  
          ammunition is removed from the environment entirely, the  
          California Condor won't survive on its own."

          According to the Humane Society of the United States, "in  
          California, lead ammunition has been a problem for wildlife for  
          decades and has grave implications for public health. [?]  Lead  
          poisoning is an extremely painful and sometimes drawn-out  
          process that can leave animals and people permanently disabled,  
          and is a lethal threat to all wildlife, including endangered and  
          protected species."


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          "This threat is wholly preventable.  Assembly Bill 711 is a  
          solid step forward in addressing the persistent lead poisonings  
          that are taking place across our state.  Just last week a Golden  
          Eagle, who received intensive veterinary treatment for several  
          weeks, lost her life due to ingesting lead ammunition fragments  
          in the gut pile of a discarded, hunted carcass.  By removing  
          lead ammunition from hunting, deaths like this one will no  
          longer be the norm. [?] The science is clear; lead ammunition is  
          dangerous and the market is continually expanding to fulfill the  
          nonlead ammunition demand."

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    According to the California Rifle  
          and Pistol Association, this bill "is designed to circumvent the  
          regulatory process delegated by the Legislature to the  
          Commission. [?]  The Commission is currently reviewing the  
          science related to the use of lead and its impacts on wildlife  
          [?]  The Commission is the appropriate venue for this review."   
          They argue that despite the lead ammunition ban in condor zones  
          that condor blood lead concentration levels have continued to  
          rise despite very high hunter compliance with the use of nonlead  

          Materials provided by the National Rifle Association state that  
          "the failure of California's lead ammunition ban to decrease  
          lead poisoning [in condors] proves conclusively that [it is]  
          alternative sources of lead in the environment that is causing  
          lead poisoning. [?]  There are serious questions about the  
          purported nexus between traditional ammunition and lead  
          poisoning and the mortality in California Condors and other  

          According to the California Association of Firearms Retailers,  
          "manufacturers are saying there may be a shortage of nonlead  
          ammunition as the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms  
          and Explosives (ATF) has determined that such ammunition meets  
          the definition of prohibited armor piercing ammunition and  
          manufacturers may no longer be able to produce it.  If this is  
          not resolved, there would be no lawful ammunition for hunting  
          and thus no hunting."

          According to Crossroads of the West, the passage of this bill  
          "would be a substantial loss of hunting license sales and  
          operating revenue to [the Department of Fish and Wildlife]. [?]  


                                                                     AB 711

          Acceptable alternatives to lead ammunition remain limited  
          compared to the availability of various calibers and loadings of  
          lead ammunition used for hunting.  The alternatives are also  
          more expensive, creating an economic barrier to their use."

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  44-21, 5/16/13
          AYES:  Alejo, Ammiano, Atkins, Bloom, Blumenfield, Bocanegra,  
            Bonta, Bradford, Buchanan, Ian Calderon, Campos, Chau,  
            Chesbro, Daly, Dickinson, Fong, Fox, Garcia, Gatto, Gomez,  
            Gordon, Gorell, Hall, Roger Hernández, Jones-Sawyer, Levine,  
            Lowenthal, Medina, Mitchell, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian,  
            Pan, V. Manuel Pérez, Quirk, Rendon, Skinner, Ting, Torres,  
            Weber, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NOES:  Bigelow, Chávez, Conway, Cooley, Dahle, Donnelly, Beth  
            Gaines, Hagman, Harkey, Jones, Linder, Logue, Maienschein,  
            Mansoor, Nestande, Olsen, Patterson, Salas, Wagner, Waldron,  
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Achadjian, Allen, Bonilla, Brown, Eggman,  
            Frazier, Gray, Grove, Holden, Melendez, Morrell, Perea,  
            Quirk-Silva, Stone, Vacancy

          RM:d  9/9/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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