This is a sampling from Bay Area News Group's Political Blotter blog. Read more and post comments at www.ibabuzz.com/politics.
Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to sign or veto any of the major gun-control bills that the Legislature sent to him in the final days of its session, and advocates on both sides of the debate are pressuring him to see things their way.
For example, the California Fish and Game Wardens' Association, representing current and retired sworn state game wardens, sent a letter to the governor Wednesday urging him to veto AB 711, which would ban the use of lead ammunition in hunting by mid-2019.
"Our California Wardens are the state's environmental police, teachers of conservation, protectors of fish and wildlife, and a premier law enforcement presence for public safety and disaster relief," the association's officers and board wrote to Brown. "California Game Wardens are on the front line enforcing the ban on lead ammunition for most hunting in condor range. But there is insufficient data to justify such a drastic action across the entire state."
In taking this position, the wardens are breaking with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, which had supported AB 711.
Environmentalists say the bill, written by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-South Gate, protects California condors, eagles and other wildlife from lead poisoning. "There's no reason to keep putting toxic lead into the food chain or risking human health when there are nontoxic bullets already on the market and in use by hunters," said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate from the Center for Biological Diversity.
But the vast majority of ammunition used today contains lead, and opponents of the bill say the environmental argument is a smoke-screen. The California Association of Firearms Retailers has noted there isn't much nonlead ammunition on the market, because federal authorities have determined that it meets the definition of armor-piercing ammunition, which is banned. Unless that's resolved, the group said, there would be little or no legal ammunition for hunting.
Brown has until Oct. 13 to sign or veto this session's bills.
This bill and SB 374 by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento -- which would add all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the state's list of banned assault weapons -- are probably the most controversial gun-related bills sent to Brown's desk this year. Others include: