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California Ammo Ban Set To Cost Hunters Big Time, Some May Quit Entirely

Environmental regulations that recently went into effect in California are poised to cost hunters hard-earned money, and the increasing costs may even force some to quit their hobby entirely.
Assembly Bill 711 bans the use of lead ammunition in all hunting in the state of California, regardless of the firearm used or the game pursued.
Although the bill was signed into law way back in 2013, the regulations did not need to take full effect until this past July.
The reason for the ban stems from lead’s toxic nature. According to the bill, “many species of wildlife remain threatened by the use of lead ammunition and more protections are needed.”
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has banned the use of lead shot while hunting waterfowl, but the damaging effect of shotgun lead over wetlands is magnitudes greater than that of lead ammunition used by hunters pursuing deer and other game. 
But instead of protecting California’s wildlife, the bill threatens to undermine the very people that steward it.
According to data published in 2014 by Southwick Associates, a market research firm specializing in outdoor recreation, AB 711 looks primed to gut the state’s hunting culture.
In place of relatively cheap lead ammunition, hunters will now have to buy pricey ammo made from alternatives metals.
Alternative rifle ammunition was found to cost between 284 percent and 294 percent higher than standard lead ammo. Hunters using shotguns are in even worse shape, with non-lead shotshell prices found to be a whopping 387 percent more expensive. 
Addressing this shocking price difference, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife encourages hunters to “look for deals at your local store.”
Although lead ammo can be used for target practice, the difference in how lead and non-lead bullets perform can often mean optics geared toward one ammo type would need to be rezeroed for other ammunition.
Considering how much time behind the trigger is needed for a hunter to become truly proficient with a firearm, the pricier ammo could easily put hunting out of the financial reach of many.
A whopping 36 percent of hunters said the higher prices would cause them to hunt less or abandon the hobby altogether. This included 13 percent who said they’d stop hunting, 10 percent who were unsure and 23 percent who said they’d probably hunt less.
And even if hunters are able to afford the pricier ammunition, there’s another stumbling block that could put a damper on hunting season. 
Production of many alternative types of ammunition is not where it needs to be to supply California hunters.
Southwick Associates found that if there are no changes to the number of hunters statewide, the demand for alternative ammunition is more than the manufacturers will be able to supply.
For instance, the demand for alternative 8 millimeter ammunition would exceed the entire U.S. production capacity for that round by 1,094 percent.
According to the laws of supply and demand, this would increase ammo prices even further.
Responsible hunters form the most basic building block of responsible stewardship of our natural resources.
They keep animal numbers in check while harvesting healthy and natural meat for their families and communities. By hurting these outdoorsmen, California is only shooting itself in the foot.

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