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  • ??? for DFG Ofcr. (or anyone who may know)

    This question is about the new lead free bullet law that started in july. I plan to hunt in an area covered under that new law, and as much as I hate to use a lead free bullet, I will comply (even though I have never seen a Ca. condor in D13). The potential issue is this...the new law also says that the hunter cannot be in possession of ANY lead core bullets while hunting big game.

    So what does that mean to an off duty ofcr? I always carry a pistol while off duty, even when I am hunting. The pistol is not for game, its to make sure I come home with all the equipment I left with. I carry a department approved pistol, with approved ammo, which happens to contain lead. So will I be in violation of the law? I could find lead free ammo for my pistol, but it wouldnt be approved for carry and if something were to go bad, I'd be in a world of hurt if I actually shot someone with it. So, does anyone know how that law applies to L.E. ?

  • #2
    I'm guessing I'll have to answer this one since the other DFG'rs here are afraid to do anything but lurk. Short answer: There are no exceptions to the ban on lead ammunition for peace officers carrying duty weapons when off-duty. Here's the pertinent sub-section text of Title 14, CCR Section 353:
    (h) Methods of take within the California condor range. Except as otherwise provided, it is unlawful to use or possess projectiles containing more than one percent lead by weight while taking or attempting to take any big game (as defined in Section 350, Title 14, CCR) in those areas described in Section 3004.5, Fish and Game Code.
    (1) Except as otherwise provided, it is unlawful to possess any projectile containing lead in excess of the amount permitted in subsection 353(h) and a firearm capable of firing the projectile while taking or attempting to take any big game within the area described in subsection 353(h). The possession of a projectile containing lead in excess of the amount allowed in subsection 353(h) without possessing a firearm capable of firing the projectile is not a violation of this section.
    This isn't the first law to conflict with LEO's and their weapons. I guess when we hunt deer, bear, or pig within the condor range we will have to do the same thing we do when we get on a commercial airliner, go to Disneyland, hunt with an archery-only tag, or testify in the Federal courthouse in LA: Leave the pistol somewhere else.
    ..... even though I have never seen a Ca. condor in D13.
    You kind of set yourself up for this one. D13 is where the condors are. There's a few that were put at the Grand Canyon but for the most part they are centered around The Sespe, Alamo, Frazier, Pinos, Abel, Hopper, and all points in between. Last week they were partying at the Tejon Ranch on a dead carcass. The ranch closed rather that take a chance of another moron shooting one.

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    • #3
      417Lt, thanks for the info. I guess I'll have to switch pistol calibers and go with an "unleaded" projectile while hunting. I just aint headed into the woods without a "back up". There has been a few pot farms found very close to where I hunt and I prefer to have the handgun as well as the rifle. No big deal I guess.

      As far as condors in D13...I have been hunting along the 15, south of Mormon Rocks for 10 years and I have not seen one bird. I have seen plenty while hunting the A-Zone near "Painted Rock" in the Los Padres though. Again, thx for the info.

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      • #4
        I just found that Cor-Bon sells the Barnes DPX in .40 S&W, and its Ca. approved...great!! Looks like I'll have Barnes in the rifle and the pistol from now on.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BobbyB View Post
          I just found that Cor-Bon sells the Barnes DPX in .40 S&W, and its Ca. approved...great!! Looks like I'll have Barnes in the rifle and the pistol from now on.
          Thanks. I was just wondering if anyone was going to make lead-free stuff in .40, since we're issued two Glocks that use it. Just have to get approval to load it in the issued guns.
          Mormon Rocks near the 15 / 138 area would be D11 not D13. It would be unusual to see one down that far. Painted Rock on the LP though, real common. That's a place where the lead ban is needed. A lot of pigs get shot there and some aren't recovered, or they are discovered to be a stinky nasty old boar and left where they were dropped.

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          • #6
            Lt- My reading of the section is that it's only unlawful to carry firearms with lead ammo when one's in the actual process of hunting. If I drive somewhere to hunt and leave my loaded weapon (handgun) in the locked vehicle to pursue game, I believe I'm covered legally. (see: it is unlawful to possess any projectile containing lead in excess of the amount permitted in subsection 353(h) and a firearm capable of firing the projectile while taking or attempting to take any big game within the area described in subsection 353(h)

            Since it's clearly unlawful to shoot from a vehicle or upon a roadway, why not just leave the handgun in the car? Additionally, for most LEOs the department authorized ammunition isn't "lead free" and carrying X-bullets (which I do like to hunt with) would be in violation of their department policy.

            BTW, if you can send me a PM with a good location on public land to hunt pigs, I'd appreciate it! (I'm not familiar with "Painted Rock" or "Mormon Rocks" areas.)
            "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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            • #7
              Lt- My reading of the section is that it's only unlawful to carry firearms with lead ammo when one's in the actual process of hunting. If I drive somewhere to hunt and leave my loaded weapon (handgun) in the locked vehicle to pursue game, I believe I'm covered legally
              Correct. But since there is always someone wanting to play "stump the dummy", I have to throw in the one caveat that comes to mind: You couldn't even have the weapon / ammo in the car if you were hunting under the provisions of a "Mobility Impaired Hunting License".
              Yes, it allows you to shoot from a vehicle.
              Pigs on public land? When I find them I'll shoot one and then send a PM saying where they are. Honest, I will. They moved in by Pyramid lake a few years ago and after I got mine I told a few folks who cleaned them out. Capt. Coe at the Wayside fire station was the first one I told last time and he scored.
              From time time someone does get lucky at Painted Rocks. It varies from year to year but that is one of the only public places that seems to get them with any consistency. It's no secret though. Mormon Rocks was just a location reference the OP used. No pigs yet AFAIK.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the pig info. I don't mind spending the money to hunt Tejon then. It's probably cheaper than driving up North (what with gas prices), is within 45 minutes of home and it's the guide's truck that gets beat up, not mine!

                Another question (if you don't mind the thread hijack): I've talked to hunters that tell me they've been stopped at checkpoints returning from dove hunts on opening day. When questioned about where/what they were doing, they've responded honestly and were then subjected to a thorough vehicle search. Without prior consent, is there something within the F&G Code that allows searches w/o PC, or a warrant?

                When I worked vehicle theft, I utilized a VC section that allowed investigators in my position to conduct such "inspections." We knew it was a very "iffy" section that if abused could easily be lost. I'm curious if the situation is the same for you guys or there's some kind of federal provisions that might apply. Also, any interesting seizures incidental to such searches that did not involve F&G violations?
                Last edited by pulicords; 07-27-2008, 01:46 AM.
                "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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                • #9
                  sometimes I hate being from California.

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                  • #10
                    Care to elaborate?
                    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                      Another question (if you don't mind the thread hijack): I've talked to hunters that tell me they've been stopped at checkpoints returning from dove hunts on opening day. When questioned about where/what they were doing, they've responded honestly and were then subjected to a thorough vehicle search. Without prior consent, is there something within the F&G Code that allows searches w/o PC, or a warrant?
                      Good question. I don't mind elaborating on the subject because it's a source of many misunderstandings. Game Wardens in Ca. are PC 830.2 peace officers (as well as FGC 856) with statewide authority to "arrest for any public offense" anywhere in the state and up to 200 miles off-shore. We are also cross deputized with the U. S. Department of the Interior to enforce federal wildlife related laws and related things like the Lacy Act. All the standard rules apply but here's where it gets different: The DFG is a regulatory entity with a public trust responsibility, and as such, the enforcing officers have been given very broad powers of inspection. In short- To conduct an inspection we don't need to believe that a violation has occurred, just a reasonable suspicion that the regulated activity has taken place. FGC sections 1006, 2012, and 7702 would be a couple of the authority sections that cover the idea. It's also against the law to lie to a warden when being asked about fish or game taken and the methods and devices used.
                      When I'm having a hard time getting a cop or a DDA to understand our inspection authority I compare it to a health department surprise inspection on a restaurant. Do they need a warrant to go behind the counter and start opening things up? Heck no, and I'm glad they do that. Where we differ from the health department is that we are peace officers and will handle anything we come across in a contact, (or inspection). Like you mentioned, it could be easily abused and lost and protecting this authority is a source of much training in the academy.
                      You bet we find stuff. There is a general opinion among people that once you are out of town you don't have to worry about cops. Wrong. It's common for rural criminals to dress the part of a hunter when they want to hold a gun in their hands without suspicion. Bad choice when the warden comes along.
                      Do you know how many doves can be put in an empty spare tire?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 417Lt View Post
                        Do you know how many doves can be put in an empty spare tire?
                        The answer to your question is 'no', but I can guess how they'd taste after being there in the summer heat for a few hours!
                        "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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                        • #13
                          Lt--Thank you for catching my error (What a huge dope I am). I was thinking D11 but typing D13 (DUH), thats why I was so upset...I have never seen a condor in D11-- yet that area is still included. Thanks again for the info.

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                          • #14
                            kalifornistan strikes again, some of the bulls**t that comes out of that place is really incredible, however I'm sure Massachusetts will follow suit. Hell our national guard can't even fire live rounds at their training base

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