AB 96 (Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn)
AB 96 (Atkins) Animal parts and products: importation or sale of ivory and rhinoceros horn passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee where it was on the Suspense Calendar, on May 28, 2015. It will now go to the ASSEMBLY FLOOR for a vote sometime next week (the week of June 1st). SCI California Chapters have written a letter in opposition of this bill.
AB 96, if passed, would delete the exemption provided by current law allowing the possession with intent to sell, or sale of, ivory from any elephant and other specified ivory bearing species, rhinoceros horn, or other body parts from these species that were legally obtained before June 1, 1977, or the possession with intent to sell or the sale of any such item on or after June 1, 1977, if the item was imported before January 1, 1977. The bill would ban completely the sale of any item made with ivory or rhinoceros horn, except antiques that can be documented to be at least 100 years old and which have less than five percent by volume of ivory or rhinoceros horn, and musical instruments manufactured before 1975 that have less than twenty percent by volume of ivory or rhinoceros horn.
Please reach out to your assemblymember and let him/her know you OPPOSE AB 96. If you don’t know who your assemblymember is, go to http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/, type in your address, and the name will appear. Clicking on the name on that web site will provide contact information for that person. Please contact your assemblymember for AB 96 NOW.
If you write a letter, please remember to sign it and include your address so your assemblymember knows you’re a constituent – also, please send us a copy [e-mail (email@example.com)
or fax to 916-443-7353.
If you call, please let us know by e-mail that you’ve done this.
Remember, this bill is up next week on the Assembly Floor, perhaps as early as Monday, June 1st. WE WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WOULD TAKE ACTION NOW to help defeat this bill.
Dedicated to Preserving Your Rights
To Hunt and Fish In the State of California
February 23, 2015
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
ATTN: Craig Stowers
Phasing of Nonlead Ammunition Requirement
Draft Environmental Document Comments
1812 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Re: Draft Environmental Document Adding Section 250.1, Amending Sections 311, 353, 464, 465, 475, and 485, as well as Repealing Section 355 of Title 14 California Code of Regulations, Phasing of Nonlead Ammunition Requirement
Dear California Department of Fish and Wildlife:
The Outdoor Sportsmen’s Coalition of California is a nonprofit organization of sportsman’s clubs and individuals dedicated to preserving outdoor recreation in California. Our principal activities are to monitor legislation that might negatively impact hunting, fishing and other recreation, and to oppose unwise changes in laws and regulations relating to these activities.
The Outdoor Sportsmen’s Coalition of California (OSCC) promotes the conservation enhancement, scientific management, and wise use of all our natural resources; OSCC seeks to end activities needlessly destructive to natural resources; OSCC endeavors to educate and encourage the public generally, and the youth specifically, to an understanding of the advantages and importance of the conservation and enhancement of our natural resources.
OSCC works to enhance outdoor opportunities for all citizens. With several thousand members located throughout California, we stay in contact with our membership via newsletters and the internet so they can be involved as they see fit.
This is to notify you of the objections of OSCC to the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (DFW) Draft Environmental Document (ED) addressing the proposed phasing in of nonlead ammunition for purposes of hunting in California. OSCC believes that the document is too subjective in some of its findings and that some topics were not sufficiently covered.
There was little discussion of the impact on the environment that would result from the current United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) proposal that would define essentially all popular rifle and pistol hunting cartridges made with nonlead projectiles as armor piercing and thus illegal to possess for hunting.
The ED largely ignored the certainty that the ATF’s current regulatory proposal defining nonlead ammunition would in fact ban all popular nonlead rifle and pistol hunting ammunition because of it being categorized as armor piercing.
The proposed exemption provided by ATF for single shot pistols is moot as there are bolt action pistols with magazines that are chambered in virtually all cartridges that can be used in the referenced single shot pistols, thus nullifying the exemption for them.
If only nonlead ammunition can be used in California for hunting with rifles and pistols, and it is illegal under federal regulations to possess nonlead ammunition, then there would be no hunting of species requiring the use of such ammunition as the method of take.
Discussion of nonlead ammunition used in rifles and pistols comparing it to nonlead ammunition used in shotguns is considered largely meaningless as the internal/external ballistics, performance, conditions under which used, availability in the marketplace, and other relevant factors are not the same for these two categories of projectiles and they are, therefore, not comparable.
The ED discussion of the potential for nonlead rifle and pistol ammunition to wound or cripple animals, rather than to cleanly take them, as opposed to traditional ammunition, was also considered to be treated with too much brevity and subjectivity.
The conclusions in the ED that there would be only an insignificant decrease in hunting license sales, hunting related fees, the receipt of Federal Pittman – Robertson money by the DWF, and other hunter generated revenues received by the department, the state, and local economies, are for the most part considered too subjective and not based on specific current California conditions and data.
There is too much reliance by DWF on non-California specific data referenced in the ED as coming from the report of the USFWS, Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, 2011, Revised 2014. While there is some California specific information contained in the report, most the report does not focus on this state.
Any loss of hunter generated funds would mean less funding for department wildlife management and habitat programs that have a beneficial effect on the environment and would thus negatively impact it. The estimates of insignificant impact published in the ED are considered too subjective and insufficiently documented.
Studies have shown that nonlead ammunition is much more likely to ignite fires than traditional ammunition (U.S. Department of Agriculture, July 2013;
Fire Management Program Leader, San Dimas Technology & Development Center,
444 East Bonita Avenue, San Dimas, CA 91773-3198;
Phone 909-599-1267; TDD; 909-599-2357; FAX: 909-592-2309).
Again, the ED was too subjective in minimizing the research that has been conducted on the potential for nonlead ammunition to ignite wildfires compared to traditional ammunition. Neither was there much discussion of actual field conditions and the potential for ammunition related wildfires during the hunting seasons, especially during the big game seasons in the coastal regions where it is often very hot and dry.
The ED notes that a large number of hunters do not utilize commercial shooting ranges to practice for hunting but, instead, practice at other locations where it is possible for wildfires to be ignited. Yet, the ED fails to attach any significance to the fact that these target shooters, while preparing for hunting, would also be using the higher rate of ignition nonlead ammunition. It focuses only on the use of traditional ammunition, and the lower fire risk from using it, for practice in these areas. The discussion of this topic and the conclusion drawn from it are considered insufficient.
OSCC further finds it troubling that the Director, DWF, can make a finding that nonlead ammunition is not available for hunters in the marketplace and, upon such finding, then temporarily lift the ban on using traditional ammunition without there being any criteria to guide the Director in making such a finding. Though the statutes do not provide such criteria, they do not prohibit the commission from doing so through regulation. Without such criteria for guidance, a future Director could make an inappropriate finding. Such an inappropriate finding could have an adverse environmental impact.
OSCC appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Draft Environmental Document and urges the commission to require re-drafting of it to rectify the above concerns.
Should you have any questions, please contact our legislative advocate, Kathryn Lynch, at (916) 443-0202
President, Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition
cc: Mr. Sonke Mastrup, Executive Director, California Fish and Game Commission
Mr. Charlton Bonham, Director, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Ms. Kathryn Lynch, Legislative Advocate
Outdoor Sportsmen’s Association of California