California Ban on Lead Ammo Begins

firstforhuntersammunitionStarting July 1, 2015, hunters in California will be required to use non-traditional ammunition when hunting in state wildlife preserves, ecological areas and when hunting Nelson bighorn sheep anywhere in the state.

In October 2013, Assembly Bill 711 was signed into law requiring the phase-out of lead ammunition for hunting anywhere in the state by July 1, 2019. The bill also required an implementation plan designed to impose the least burden on California’s hunters while adhering to the intent of the law. In April 2015, the California Fish and Game Commission adopted California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) proposed regulations and implementation plan.

Further phase-out of lead ammunition for hunting in California will continue on July 1, 2016, when non-traditional ammunition will be required when hunting with shotguns for upland game birds (except for dove, quail and snipe), small game mammals, fur-bearing mammals and nongame birds except for when hunting at licensed game bird clubs. Non-traditional ammunition will also be required when taking wildlife with shotguns for depredation purposes anywhere in the state. Starting July 1, 2019, hunters must use non-traditional ammunition when taking any animal anywhere in the state for any purpose.

Lead ammunition may still be used for target shooting. Existing restrictions on the use of lead ammunition in the California condor range remain in effect while implementation proceeds.

More information on the phase-out of lead ammunition for hunting in California can be found at:


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