California bans .22 caliber ammo with lead bullets in areas!

Designed to protect the California condors, the state Fish & Game Commission arbitrarily added .22 rimfire ammunition with lead bullets to the list of ammo banned for use by deer hunters under a recent law. The ban takes effect July 1, 2008.

This includes the USE or POSSESSION (to “make it easier for wardens to enforce the ban”) "in those areas where the endangered California condor roams

The unfunny thing about this ban is I don’t know of any designated areas of the California Condor. While they certainly are not flying around the ocean front, where I live, they pretty much span the State. Also, I have yet to see “lead bullet” defined (lead cores?) although I admit that I have not read the final law, and probably won’t. It is a done deed not likely to ever be repealed, and I am not a hunter, so while I am dead set against such a law to protect (not likely!) a few birds, I won’t have to be especially cognisant of the contents and the areas. I don’t go afoot in wilderness areas anymore - too old, too fat, and had enojgh camping out in the Army to suit me for life. The city streets here in California are wild enough for me. With all our gun laws, we still have a worse crime problem than most other states. In some areas of some cities, the gangs rule completely, totally beyond the control of any police authority. It is a damn shame, though, that even more pleasurable pursuits have been banned in this state. It is only the beginning, and unless people come to the realization of who is really destroying our rights, and stop electing them to office, it will spread across the land as time goes on. (Clue - it ain’t the guy in the White House).

John & John

Since I shoot in CA (Visalia and Sacramento) I have been watching this with interest. Here’s a map of the area that is supposedly affected by the ban.

If I lived anywhere in CA and either shot or collected cartridges I would be worried.


Just what worried me. I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area all my life (unfortunately) except while away in the military. The map shows Condors ranging right up to the south end of the Bay, in the Alviso, Milipitis and San Jose area. I have never seen or heard of a Condor in this region. I can’t say it is impossible, but they certainly must be rare as hell up here since I have never heard even mention of any being in this area in my 68 years. so, if they do exist, we have created a law that incoveniences thousands of people, further attacks our firearms RIGHTS, all to cater to a big ugly bird that few people see and in the case of our area, even have ever heard of regarding existence in this region.

Every time some guy mistakes a turkey vulture for a Condor and reports it to Fish and Game, more areas will be added. This is not ecology control, believe me folks, it is just back-door gun control, something the left-wing democrat extremist whackos in California have become very good at.

San Francisco, by the way, is now proposing a special tax on the sale of soda pop. They say it is justified by the costs to the city of treatment of obesity in the city hospitals, which they place in the millions of dollars. Of course, they haven’t a real clue what that condition costs in the hospitals. They make up huge figures to justify further pillage of people’s income, typical of Socialists and Communists. They passed an extra 3% gross sales tax on gun stores in the city (“gross” meaning that we were even paying the city tax on the sales tax we collected a tax on tax) making us instantly a non-profit organization and one of the reasons our store, the only big gun shop left in San Francisco at the time, closed down. Lots of the typical San Francisco “Cadillac Communists” cheered the tax, and guess what, now it is coming back to bite them in the rear end. They got away with it with us, even though not one cent of the extra taxes collected ever went to the hospitals to treat gun shot wounds, so now they will hit other businesses the “elite” don’t happen to care for, as well. Prohibition by taxation. Seems to me the American Revolution was fought over that issue, as well as others.

It is a shame that hunters, by and large, are so short-sighted. If not one hunting license was sold in California over the next few years, you would see these laws go away. the same for other gun laws. If the entire gun industry refused to sell or deliver anything in California, including to law enforcement and even deliveries to military bases, you would see a lot of the gun laws go away.

John, I saw that on the news here in Kentucky, about the tax on the sale of soda pop to fight obesity. Are they also going to tax sugar, donuts, candy, potato chips, pie, ice cream, etc.?

Does that lead ban also apply to anyone living in those areas that have cartridges in their collections? It could get interesting there.

Perhaps even rarer than condors in certain parts of California should be deer hunters who use .22 caliber ammunition. Isn’t there a minimum caliber allowed for deer?

IHMSA - As far as I know, mere possession in one’s house or in areas not suitable for hunting (such as going from your local gun shop to your home (in most cases) with leaded ammunition, is not a crime. However, according to my friend who owns a local gun shop, and who reads all of these laws carefully since they pertain to his business, says that the law refers to all lead. That means lead cores also. I have also heard that Fish & Game considers possession of the ammunition in a hunting area (if you’re walking around the woods with a rifle and lead-containing ammunition) to be evidence that you are using it for hunting, and therefore the law applies, even if you have not fired a shot.

Guy - there is no caliber restriction on deer hunting in california. I could use a .222 Remington on deer if I wished. However, you cannot shoot deer with a rimfire cartridge. Not being a hunter, and having forgotten much of what I knew about regulations while working in the gun shop, I don’t recall if any rimfire caliber is allowed or not - certainly not .22 of any length or power factor. However, if a guy is hunting ground squirrels or other varmints were .22RF (and other RF ammo) is allowed, and it is in the designated areas, he is in violation if the bullets contain any lead. The same would go for shotgun slugs made of lead, since slugs are allowed in California for deer hunting, although to my knowledge, buckshot is not.

A kid out plinking, with no intent to take game at all, in an area where a California Condor flies over once every 35 years or so, would be in danger of arrest.

Mind you, I could be incorrect on minor points of these new laws, but I don’t think that I am. I have not dealt with these questions professionally in about 8 years now. At one time I, along with all of our clerks, knew the laws better than most people who enforce them. We had to for our own protection and that of our customers!

It is an incredibly stupid law and one in which the main intent is NOT the protection of Condors, in my own opinion. The PETA freaks can claim anything they want, but they are such liars that I would not believe them. It is simply another way to hit the gun shop owner in loss of ammunition sales, the hunter, who all the socialist elite hate, and the gunowner.

All one has to do to understand what is going on in California in gun laws is to look at the so-called Safe gun Act. It requires any model of handgun sold in California to be tested, with four or five guns submitted for testing, and a very big fee paid. Now, never mind that most of the cheap little autos often felt to be junk even by gun entusiasts passed the tests. If the law is really about protecting the gun-buying consumer from shoddy goods, why does a handgun of the same make and model but with a different barrel length, also have to be tested, just like it was a completely different model, with the loss of the guns tested and the fee to the manufacturer. How about the same gun with a different finish? Stainless, Blue and Nickel would all have to be tested separately although the same Make, Model and caliber. Why are police exempt from the law? Should they be carrying guns that the State considers “unsafe?” Why are private party transactions exempt? If two of us lived in the state of California, and you wanted to buy my gun, not on the safe gun list, we could go to a gun dealer and he would have to do a private party transaction - all perfectly legal. But, he coudln’t sell either of us the same gun from his own stock. Obviously, the law is designed to reduce the selection of guns a dealer can sell, and thereby his income, to try to force him out of business. It has nothing to do with safe guns. Once a gun is ruled safe, the safe-gun rating has to be renewed every so-many years (I forget how long it is kept on the list). The manufacturer doesn’t have to submit any more guns to prove the quality is the same - he just has to pay the fee again if he wants his gun kept on the list. If he doesn’t pay the fee, the gun is taken off the list and the dealer who still has some can’t even sell his existing stock in the state. Has anyone ever heard of the word “EXTORTION?”

We also have a one-gun-a-month purchase law. Again, this applies only to guns sold by the dealer. My local gun shop cannot sell me more than one handgun a month, even if I am a collector, or even if I am buying a consecutively serial-numbered pair of guns. I must buy one of them a month. Now, back to private party transactions. I can buy as many guns a month as I want from other private parties as long as the law is complied with by the two of us going to a gun shop and doing the paperwork. the dealer has to hold the gun for the required 10-day waiting period and then the buyer has to go get it. The dealer gets about ten dollars for his paper work. I did a time study of what it took when I was in the business to handle a handgun transaction from the time it walked into our store to the time it walked out - all paper work involved for the dealer. It took just a minute or so under an hour. Any dealer who doesn’t figure his shop time at $75.00 an hour is probably going to go out of business anyway. Dealers have much more paper work today on a handgun transaction, than we even did when I was still in the game. The State of California gets more money, by the way, than the dealer does, from the Private Party Transfer fees, and has none of the responsibilities except for a ten second record check off of the computers.

Since the dealer himself can only sell me one handgun a month, do you think the one-gun-a-month law is aimed at reducing crime, or at putting the honest gun dealer out of business? Gee, that’s a tough question to mull over - should take everyone at least one milcro-second to come up with the right answer!!!

John Moss

Just as the “Assault Weapon Ban” created a whole new industry to manufacture and sell parts and weapons to meet the letter of the law, I forsee this lead ban in California spurring new developments in non-lead projectile ammunition, even for the .22lr. Where there is a will, there is a way, and if there is money to be made selling solid copper jacketed .22lr ammo in California, someone will do it. It is a cat-and-mouse game with these communist-liberal-elitists. I wish that more industry leaders had the “cojones” that Ronnie Barret has. Remember when California banned .50 caliber rifles? Mr. Barrett said “fine” and would not sell to California law enforcement agencies. He even went as far as not returning .50 calibers that were in his shop for repairs to the departments in California, because sending them back into California would be in violation of the new law!



There’s no doubt that shooters and hunters will counter with new products. The big question is, WHY should they have to do this?? They will simply be answered with new restrictions and the whole sham will start again until the socialists reach their goal and all guns, ammunition, hunting, fishing, knives, hammers, etc will be eliminated. That is their real goal and they don’t really care how long it will take or how many of us are trampled in the process. These tactics are right out of Mao’s Communist Manifesto.

The 50 BMG ban is only the first step. California shooters have already countered with cartridges such as the 50 DTC. How long do you think it will be before legislation will be introduced to ban ALL 50 caliber rifles? Then the shooters can switch to a 49 caliber cartridge and . . .