Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 711 into law on October 11, making California the first U.S. state to ban the use of lead ammunition for all hunting purposes.
“Lead poses a danger to wildlife. This danger has been known for a long time,” the governor said in a signing statement. “Since 2007, California has prohibited it in the eight counties within the condor range. In fact, at least thirty other states regulate lead ammunition in some manner.”
The California Fish and Game Commission will have until July 1, 2019, to fully implement the new law.
“The regulation is smart, it’s a move in the right direction,” said Vernon Thomas, a researcher at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, who has worked on the effects of lead toxicity on wildlife for more than 20 years.