Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

August 29, 2013 - 8:28 am

California Democrats hate guns. In their creative drive to ban guns without really banning them, because the US Constitution won’t let them, they have come up with several measures. One demands a permit before purchasing ammunition, which makes ammo more expensive. Another is to force a change in the way bullets are made. Michelle Orrock takes a look at the second measure — a mandate to ban lead core ammunition and mandate the use of copper or brass in lead’s place.

The bill I am referring to is Assembly Bill 711 by Assemblymember Anthony Rendon.  If passed, this bill will ban the use of lead ammunition by hunters in California.  My concern is not so much the thrust of the argument by the proponents about lead ammunition, but rather has to do with an August 2013 study by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service showing the propensity solid-copper bullets have to ignite fires at a much more significant rate than lead core ammunition.  I won’t bore you with getting too deep into the details of the bill or the study (titled “A Study of Ignition by Rifle Bullets), but briefly put, AB 711 will ban lead ammunition.  California shooters will be mandated to substitute lead with copper and bronze bullets.  However, according to the findings of the Forest Service study, copper core bullets had a much higher probability of igniting fires from sparking.

As someone elected to help set policy and manage a budget for a large fire district, I am watchful for any potential public policy that may, albeit inadvertently, increase fire danger – and thereby potential firefighting costs.  My understanding from ammunition manufacturers is that lead ammunition, which shows the lowest propensity for sparking and igniting fire according to the study, occupies about 95% of ammunition market share.

Setting the arguments for and against banning of lead ammunition aside, AB 711, like many other bills that move quickly through the California Legislature, has unintended consequences – some of which are particularly timely given the intensity of this fire season.  With California’s high fire risk and growing costs to fight fires, AB 711 impacts deserve more scrutiny than the annual legislative process affords.

What California’s Democrats are really trying to do is warp the ammunition market and drive up prices and scarcity not just in their state, but nationwide, as anything that happens in the nation’s most populous state tends to impact every other state. Undoubtedly the gun control crowd will welcome this devious move against market forces. Anything in the service of disarming law-abiding citizens is fine with the gun grabbers.

I supposed we should consider California’s forests and homes mere collateral damage.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Why supply California at all? It's not like their police need ammunition, them having solved all their crime problems.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
How much weight does a belly full of copper carry?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gridley mentioned Cops being less inclined to fire their weapons because of over-penetration but more people will be concerned with wear and tear on the bore of their weapons. Lead is great because it is soft and fits itself to the lands and grooves of the barrel, harder metals like copper or bronze don't. This will also equate to a lot less practice and a lot more missed shots.


As to the fire danger, maybe they are counting on this. Like with ATVs that you can't ride offroad because the exhaust sets the grass and weeds on fire. The first time a hunter causes a fire by using the new ammo, wham, restricted!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Democrats hate poor people and think rights are only for the rich."

If it were Republicans that would be exactly what Democrats would be saying.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bronze bullets are currently being manufactured, albeit in very small lots, and only in the larger calibers. They are primarily used for large and dangerous game because they do not deform as much as lead bullets, and penetrate much farther into the target.

A mandate to only use Bronze or copper bullets, especially if extended to law enforcement, means that the public would be at higher risk due to over-penetration of bullets fired at criminals. Cops would be less willing to fire their weapons because the bullets would have a greater tendency to penetrate walls and other inanimate objects, endangering people on the other side.

Unintended consequences indeed!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I suspect there would be a cost issue for purchasing by local law enforcement leading to fewer practice/qualifying rounds etc. since municipal budgets are already a hot issue.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In many areas of manufacturing, a state as large as California would normally dictate what happens with a product nationwide. However, at this point in time, demand for ammunition is at previously unimaginable highs and will most likely remain there until 2016. That leaves manufacturers two very easy choices for the short term
- completely shift out of California and increase stock and supplies in the other 49 states (that would make lots of buyers happy)
-then eventually set small specialty runs for the California market like they do with other calibers that have low demand.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why supply California at all? It's not like their police need ammunition, them having solved all their crime problems.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
View All