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California Airgun Hunting within the Condor Range for Non Game Animals with Lead Pellets


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#1 Trojan1994

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 01:54 PM

California has the most progressive Airgun Hunting Rules & Regulations in the country but they are often misunderstood due to the overwhelming focus on Firearms Hunting in the great Golden State. One of the largest areas of confusion currently involves Airgun Hunting within the California Condor Range using lead pellets on non game animals such as ground squirrels.. As an Airgun Enthusiast and Hunter I decided to find the truth on this important subject as its much better to have solid facts vs. ones opinion/interpretation when having a discussion in the field with a Game Warden!The other day I set forth on this mission and spent some time touching base with the California Department of Fish & Game that ultimately put me in contact with a Game Warden. I explained to the officer that I am an airgun hunter and that I wanted to get clarification with supporting details regarding the use of airguns to hunt non game animals like ground squirrels within the California Condor Range.I let him know that in years past, the Rules & Regulations spelled it out clearly that Airgun Hunting with lead pellets was an exception to the lead ban but I could not find the same language in the current Rules & Regulations. What I did initially find in Big, Bold Print in the 2010 2011 Mammal Hunting Regulations Handbook was:Get the Lead out ofCalifornia condor rangeAttention Hunters:Bullets Banned for Hunting in Condor RangeEffective July 1, 2008, it is illegal to use or possess lead projectiles (bullets) while hunting big game and non game species in the range of the endangered California condor.The Game Warden said let me get my books out and well walk through this and get you an answer!To begin this hunt for info., we first go to the California Penal Code and to define What Is and What is Not a Firearm in the State of California.http://www.dmv.ca.go.../penco12001.htmSo what is a Firearm?In the California Penal Codes, Section 12001, (:rofl2: states:(:rofl2: As used in this title, firearm means any device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.Based on that definition of a Firearm, airguns dont fit that definition but there is more to clarify what is not a Firearm in the California Penal Code, read on!In the California Penal Codes, Section 12001, (g) states:(g) For purposes of Sections 12551 and 12552, the term BB device means any instrument that expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, not exceeding 6mm caliber, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun.Now lets take a look at what methods are not allowed for hunting non game animals within the California Condor Range.In the 2010-2011 Mammal Hunting Regulations Handbook Section 475, (f), (1):(f) Methods of take within the California condor range. Except as otherwise provided, it is unČlawful to use or possess projectiles containing more than one percent lead by weight while taking or attempting to take any nongame birds or nongame mammals in those areas described in Section 3004.5, Fish and Game Code.(1) For purposes of Section 475, a projectile is defined as any bullet, ball, sabot, slug, buckshot, shot, pellet or other device which is expelled from a firearm through a barrel by force.http://www.fgc.ca.go...malregs.asp#475The use of the word pellet above causes most readers, airgunners or not, to come to the conclusion that Well it clearly spells out that you cant use lead pellets for hunting, end of story, no hunting with airguns and lead pellets for non game animals like ground squirrels!But wait, earlier we learned that the California Penal Code stated that a BB device includes pellet guns that fire projectiles 6mm or less through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action!!!The Game Warden concluded that if your airgun is shooting a lead projectile that is 6mm or less, you are good to go with hunting non game animals inside the California Condor Range. If you need maps to outline the California Condor Range, they are on our website and elsewhere. Any other questions you have that I can help you with?So if youre interested in taking your airguns out to hunt ground squirrels in the California Condor Range, it can be done legally with lead pellets provided you comply with the 6mm caliber or less requirement. Its best to call the local Game Warden for the area you are planning to hunt to verify if there are any exceptions that prevent you from using or having lead projectiles on your possession in that area.If you have any questions, California Department of Fish and Game can be reached at:http://www.fgc.ca.gov/Mailing Address: California Fish and Game CommissionP.O. Box 944209Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 Physical Address: California Fish and Game Commission1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1320Sacramento, CA 95814Phone Number: (916) 653-4899Fax Number: (916) 653-5040Department of Fish & Game Enforcement Division: (916) 653-4094Regards,Tony

#2 ShooterJohn

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 02:23 PM

From the DFG's Lead information PDF.http://www.dfg.ca.go...Information.pdf

Are pellet rifles included in the non-lead ammunition ban?Pellet rifles are not considered a firearm. Consequently, neither pellet rifles nor theirprojectiles would be included in the ban.



#3 Thumper Dunker

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 02:17 AM

Pretty clear to me thanks.

#4 lenny

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 08:43 AM

Whats the law on hunting in city limits say corona of fullerton hills

#5 ShooterJohn

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 09:00 AM

I'm going to say it's most likely very illegal.

#6 4RHUNTS

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 10:10 AM

Whats the law on hunting in city limits say corona of fullerton hills

Best to check on the Municipal Codes for those cities, and as SJ stated it will more than likely be illegal.

#7 DirtyDave

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 11:11 AM

Whats the law on hunting in city limits say corona of fullerton hills

Most cities have a "No Projectile" ordinanace within city limits. This includes all projectiles, not just firearms. This means Pellet guns, BB guns, Paintball, Archery, sling-shots, Blow-darts, air-soft etc

#8 ShooterJohn

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 01:14 PM

Not to get off subject here but blow darts are illegal period in California.

2005 California Penal Code Sections 12580-12583 Article 4. BlowgunsShare |PENAL CODESECTION 12580-1258312580. "Blowgun," as used in this article, means a hollow tubedesigned and intended to be used as a tube through which a dart ispropelled by the force of the breath of the user.12581. "Blowgun ammunition," as used in this article, means a dartdesigned and intended for use in a blowgun.12582. Any person who knowingly manufactures, sells, offers forsale, possesses, or uses a blowgun or blowgun ammunition in thisstate is guilty of a misdemeanor.12583. Nothing in this article shall prohibit the sale to, purchaseby, possession of, or use of blowguns or blowgun ammunition byzookeepers, animal control officers, Department of Fish and Gamepersonnel, humane officers whose names are maintained in the countyrecord of humane officers pursuant to Section 14502 of theCorporations Code, or veterinarians in the course and scope of theirbusiness in order to administer medicine to animals.



#9 Bisley

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 01:49 PM

While pellet guns may not be considered "firearms" they are still considered "weapons", and (at least here in our city) it is considered illegal discharge of a dangerous weapon. Had a friend cited for it when we were growing up. You may also be surprised to find it legal in some rural areas though. 4RHUNTS has the right idea, a little trip to the local Police will save you a big trip to the local Jail :signs1180lq:

#10 DirtyDave

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 11:40 PM

You may also be surprised to find it legal in some rural areas though.

Yeah you can shoot/hunt in unincorporated areas. The city projectile ordinances only apply within city limits




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