To the OP: Wow, dude. I want to call you ignorant, but that would be rude of me, so I'll just call you woefully uninformed. First of all, the ban you are referring to banned lead bullets only for the taking of big game and coyotes. Secondly, it banned it in a very limited area, specifically:
within the department's deer hunting zone A South, but excluding
Santa Cruz, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and San Joaquin
Counties, areas west of Highway 101 within Santa Clara County,
and areas between Highway 5 and Highway 99 within Stanislaus,
Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern Counties, and
within deer hunting zones D7, D8, D9, D10, D11, and D13
It also bans only centerfire lead ammo. The legislation also requires the state to provide the nonlead ammo at reduced or no cost. The Fish and Game Department is also required to notify you of the program's existence and requirements if you draw out in one of the affected areas, so there won't be any legitimate "well, I didn't know" complaints.
You're also uninformed as to the shooting industry's involvement in the legislation. Almost every conservation and sportsmans' group out there, including SAAMI, supported the legislation. Just about the only opposition came from the NRA and some local hunters' rights groups.
Frankly, there are no ballistically justifiable reasons to bemoan this mandate of nontoxic big game and coyote ammo.
And it's funny you should mention that these things spread across the country because I'm actually researching and writing an article on how to implement similar legislation in Arizona for the academic journal I work on here at school.
But it's also funny that you should mention that these things spread across the nation because that also belies yet again your apparently complete lack of understanding of the underpinnings of the whole nontox ammo mandate as passed in California.
The mandate was passed to protect the California Condor, one of the most endangered species in the world. It was known at the time the last condors were pulled out of the wild in 1987 that lead poisoning was a major impediment to their survival. After relatively successful captive breeding programs augmented the population substantially and the first reintroductions were done, it became again apparent that lead poisoning was a major issue. However, there wasn't enough hard evidence to convince those silly legislators of the benefit of a nontox ammo program. Until a couple of years ago when some breakthrough studies were done that allowed scientists to directly, precisely and exactly pinpoint the source of lead extracted from very lead-poisoned condors to rifle-killed carrion they had fed on in the field. You see, a typical .30 caliber bullet can shatter into more than 300 fragments upon impact. Even a very small fragment, if ingested by a condor, creates a very large problem. Lead affects their CNS the same way it does ours. But it sits in their guts and leaches into the bloodstream very effectively because they have no natural mechanism to pass the lead out. It's almost kinda like the waterfowl who would pick up lead pellets floating at the edges of the water to use for the grit they needed for digestion. We all know what that generated in the way of nontox ammo programs.
The law, both federal and state, not only permitting but mandating very strong action on the part of the gov't to protect and enhance endangered species (with the eventual goal of delisting them) is very well established and very clear. The recent studies provided a sufficiently clear, direct and strong causal link between lead hunting ammo and the lead poisoning problem in condors to justify to the CA legislature the passage of this bill. And of course, the guv signed it.
Now, there are some special issues confronting the state of AZ with regard to passage of similar legislation, but that's what my article deals with.
What this also means is it's not going to blow up into some nationwide conspiracy as you would seem to imply. This was extremely targeted, purpose specific legislation. That's why the bill's impact is limited to areas that are therein listed, which are recognized as areas of condor habitat. That's why, if it spreads to AZ, it won't spread any farther any time soon. Because in AZ is the only other condor population in the US.
And thinking that it will lead to a lead shot ban is not justified, either. There are only two arguments put forth by those in opposition to nontox ammo: ballistic inferiority and increased cost. For centerfire ammo, neither is a valid complaint. Nontox is not ballistically inferior, and the volume of ammo used (that would be subject to the ban) is minimal. How many rounds do you fire each year hunting?
And that's precisely why any challenge to ban lead shot would face much stronger challenges. Nontox alternatives are ballistically inferior to lead, and it's not at all uncommon for serious target shooters to fire 30,000 rounds per year between practice and competition. Some shoot much more. That's a big difference from maybe 4 or 5 shots that a hunter might take per year out of that box of 10 bullets. And you'd have to have some justifiable environmental concern. Many clubs that shoot over water have already banned lead shot. And you can't shoot lead at waterfowl.
In short, I'm a little put off by your wholesale unjustifiable hysterism. It's what I would expect from the left, not from a fellow lover of the scattergun.
And your K80 is fine with steel shot (with Mod or less choke), just like Sera said. It's just a big NO NO to steel through Ti chokes.
To drsfmd: I was writing this as you posted yours. This took a while. If you or anyone else wants more information on CA AB821, feel free to email or PM me. I can go into much more detailed explanation and analysis as well.