(Sacramento, CA) – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 711, which bans the use of lead in traditional ammunition and vetoed SB 374, which would have banned a number of popular hunting rifles with detachable magazines. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for firearms and ammunition manufacturers, responded with this statement:
"We have mixed emotions as an industry and representatives of the hunting and sport shooting community," said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "We are pleased that Governor Brown vetoed SB 374 and a number of other pieces of bad gun legislation, but obviously disappointed in the signing of the traditional lead ammunition ban."
"With SB 374 many types of rifles with detachable magazines were at risk of being banned were this legislation to be signed into law, and we appreciate the Governor's action to prevent thousands of lawful gun owners from being labeled as criminals. On the other hand, AB 711 is an example of an unneccessary and misguided legislation that could have instead addressed the metallic ammunition issue collaboratively by including hunters and manufacturers in the initial discussions. Unfortunately, that did not happen in this instance."
Assembly Bill 711, which bans the use of lead in traditional ammunition, passed the legislature by narrow margins in both houses. A diverse coalition of hunters, sport shooters, conservationists, Tribal governments, law enforcement leaders and labor unions, including the organization representing active and retired California Fish & Game wardens, opposed the bill.
The bill amounts to a virtual ban on hunting because the Federal government considers most types of non-lead ammunition to be "armor piercing" and thus bans its manufacture and sale without special permission. Further, many types of standard hunting long rifles are not compatible with alternative metal ammunition or will require significant modification.
NSSF is the trade association for America's firearms industry. Their mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.