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The 8 Negative Effects of California’s Traditional Ammo Ban

The California traditional ammo ban has a negative effect on multiple facets of the economy and on livelihood, says Southwick Associates.

Southwick Associates published a paper for the National Shooting Sports Foundation explaining the impacts on hunters and those who enjoy wildlife in California by the switch to alternative ammunition. This alternative ammunition includes anything other than lead-based ammunition.

The paper includes data collected by surveys from California hunters themselves and United States ammo manufacturers. It was presented at a public hearing of the Wildlife Resource Committee of the California Fish and Game Commission.

Here is what they found:

1. A ban on lead-based ammunition would lead to a dramatic price increase of centerfire, rimfire, and shotshells.

We are talking huge increases here:

  • Centerfire prices would go up by 284%
  • Rimfire prices would go up by 294%
  • Shotshell prices would go up by 387%

2. A traditional ammo ban would mean higher ammo prices in general.

This would likely force many hunters out of the sport altogether. 36% of hunters say they would stop hunting or drastically decrease their activity.

3. There is very little actual alternative ammunition.

Compared to traditional ammo, there isn’t a whole lot available to hunters for centerfire, rimfire and shotshell.

4. Rimfire will take the hardest hit.

With only 0.5% of rimfire being produced with alternative ammunition, this will be a significant blow to the hunting community, particularly younger hunters.

5. Very little machinery and resources are available for alternative ammunition for centerfire ammunition.

It is impossible to increase rimfire ammo production; no data was collected for shotshell production.


6. Local and national economies connected to hunting will be affected.

Because California hunters are ranked #8 in spending, the switch to alternative ammo would mean a huge drop in hunting participation, which has negative repercussions for national production of alternative ammo. This, the report claims, would lead to an increase of hunting trip cancellations and shortages.

7. The truth is in the numbers.

  • 1,868 jobs would be lost with this ban
  • $68.7 million in salaries would be lost for those in the hunting industry
  • $13.9 million would drop out of the state and local tax revenue
  • $5.8 million of federal tax revenue

8. Wildlife conservation efforts will take a hit.

The hunting industry in general will have to endure a huge blow, but they are not the only ones that will be effected. Hunting licenses and taxes paid on firearms and ammo fuel wildlife conservation efforts.

Access the pdf document here for more details.

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The 8 Negative Effects of California’s Traditional Ammo Ban