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AB-3117 Hunting: nonlead ammunition: temporary suspension: criteria.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/09/2018 09:00 PM
AB3117:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 09, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 3117


Introduced by Assembly Members Mathis and Dahle

February 16, 2018


An act to amend Section 3004.5 of the Fish and Game Code, relating to hunting.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 3117, as amended, Mathis. Hunting: nonlead ammunition: temporary suspension: criteria.
Existing law requires the use of nonlead centerfire rifle and pistol ammunition, as determined by the Fish and Game Commission, when taking big game with a rifle or pistol, and when taking coyote, within the California condor range. Existing law further requires, as soon as is practicable, but by no later than July 1, 2019, the use of nonlead ammunition for the taking of all wildlife, including game mammals, game birds, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, with any firearm, and requires the commission to promulgate regulations by July 1, 2015, that phase in the requirements of these provisions. Existing law requires the latter prohibition to be suspended for a specific hunting season and caliber if the Director of Fish and Wildlife finds that nonlead ammunition of that specific caliber is not commercially available from any manufacturer because of federal prohibitions relating to armor-piercing ammunition.
This bill would instead require the commission to temporarily suspend the latter prohibition for a specific hunting season and caliber if the commission finds that nonlead ammunition of the specific caliber is not available for any reason. The bill would require the commission, on or before January July 1, 2020, to adopt criteria to determine when nonlead ammunition is not available for purposes of this provision and would require those criteria to include the regional availability and cost of nonlead ammunition. The bill would require the commission to establish an advisory commission’s wildlife resources committee to provide recommendations to the commission on the criteria used to determine when nonlead ammunition is not available and which calibers should be considered for temporary suspension. The bill would prohibit a suspension from remaining in effect for longer than 3 years. The bill would require the commission to make any finding that nonlead ammunition is not available publicly available on the its Internet Web site.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 3004.5 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

3004.5.
 (a) (1) Nonlead centerfire rifle and pistol ammunition, as determined by the commission, shall be required when taking big game, as defined in the department’s mammal hunting regulations (Section 350 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations), with a rifle or pistol, and when taking coyote, within the California condor range.
(2) For purposes of this section, “California condor range” means:
(A) The department’s deer hunting zone A South, but excluding the Counties of Santa Cruz, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and San Joaquin, areas west of Highway 101 within the County of Santa Clara, and areas between Highway 5 and Highway 99 within the Counties of Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern.
(B) Areas within deer hunting zones D7, D8, D9, D10, D11, and D13.
(3) The requirements of this subdivision shall remain in effect in the California condor range unless and until the more restrictive nonlead prohibitions required pursuant to subdivision (b) are implemented.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (j), and as soon as is practicable as implemented by the commission pursuant to subdivision (i), but by no later than July 1, 2019, nonlead ammunition, as determined by the commission, shall be required when taking all wildlife, including game mammals, game birds, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, with any firearm.
(c) (1) The commission shall maintain, by regulation, a public process to certify ammunition as nonlead ammunition, and shall define, by regulation, nonlead ammunition as including only ammunition in which there is no lead content, excluding the presence of trace amounts of lead. The commission shall establish and annually update a list of certified ammunition.
(2) The list of certified ammunition shall include, but not be limited to, any federally approved nontoxic shotgun ammunition.
(d) (1) To the extent that funding is available, the commission shall establish a process that will provide hunters with nonlead ammunition at no or reduced charge. The process shall provide that the offer for nonlead ammunition at no or reduced charge may be redeemed through a coupon sent to a permitholder with the appropriate permit tag. If available funding is not sufficient to provide nonlead ammunition at no charge, the commission shall set the value of the reduced charge coupon at the maximum value possible through available funding, up to the average cost within this state for nonlead ammunition, as determined by the commission.
(2) The nonlead ammunition coupon program described in paragraph (1) shall be implemented only to the extent that sufficient funding, as determined by the Department of Finance, is obtained from local, federal, public, or other nonstate sources in order to implement the program.
(3) If the nonlead ammunition coupon program is implemented, the commission shall issue a report on the usage and redemption rates of ammunition coupons. The report shall cover calendar years 2008, 2009, and 2012. Each report shall be issued by June of the following year.
(e) The commission shall issue a report on the levels of lead found in California condors. This report shall cover calendar years 2008, 2009, and 2012. Each report shall be issued by June of the following year.
(f) The department shall notify those hunters who may be affected by this section.
(g) A person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500). A second or subsequent offense shall be punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).
(h) This section does not apply to government officials or their agents when carrying out a statutory duty required by law.
(i) The commission shall promulgate regulations by July 1, 2015, that phase in the requirements of this section. The requirements of this section shall be fully implemented statewide by no later than July 1, 2019. If any of the requirements of this section can be implemented practicably, in whole or in part, in advance of July 1, 2019, the commission shall implement those requirements. The commission shall not reduce or eliminate any existing regulatory restrictions on the use of lead ammunition in the California condor range unless or until the additional requirements for use of nonlead ammunition as required by this section are implemented.
(j) (1) (A) The commission shall temporarily suspend the prohibition in subdivision (b) for a specific hunting season and caliber if the commission finds that nonlead ammunition of the specific caliber is not available for any reason, including, but not limited to, federal prohibitions relating to armor-piercing ammunition pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code.
(B) The commission shall, on or before January July 1, 2020, adopt criteria to determine when nonlead ammunition is not available for purposes of this subdivision and shall include in those criteria the regional availability and cost of nonlead ammunition. In adopting the criteria pursuant to this subparagraph, the commission shall consider the recommendations submitted pursuant to subparagraph (C).
(C) The commission shall establish an advisory committee to wildlife resources committee formed by the commission pursuant to Section 106 shall provide recommendations to the commission on (i) the criteria used for determining when nonlead ammunition is not available, including the criteria used for determining regional availability and cost, and (ii) which calibers should be considered for temporary suspension pursuant to this subdivision. The advisory committee shall include representatives of ammunition manufacturers, permitted ammunition dealers, and organizations that primarily represent the interests of farming and ranching, and persons licensed pursuant to Section 3031. In preparing the recommendations required by this subparagraph, the wildlife resources committee shall consider information on the availability of nonlead ammunition in specific calibers, including information on the availability of nonlead ammunition in specific calibers during the period following full implementation of the prohibition in subdivision (b). These recommendations shall be submitted to the commission on or before July 1, 2019. no later than January 1, 2020.
(2) A suspension instituted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall remain in effect for no longer than three years.
(3) The commission shall make any finding made pursuant to paragraph (1) publicly available on its Internet Web site.
(4) Notwithstanding a suspension instituted pursuant to paragraph (1), nonlead ammunition shall be used when taking big game mammals, nongame birds, or nongame mammals in the California condor range.