Nonlead Certification for Ammunition Manufacturers

Effective July 1, 2008, ammunition used for hunting of big game and nongame species within the range of the California condor must use a projectile which has been certified to contain less than or equal to 1 percent lead by weight. Projectiles here are defined as "any bullet, ball, sabot, slug, buckshot or other device which is expelled from a firearm through a barrel by force."

In addition, Assembly Bill 711 has been chaptered into law requiring the phase-out of lead ammunition when taking (hunting) any wildlife in the state by July 1, 2019. Phase-in regulations have been developed that begin implementation of AB 711 on July 1, 2015, and are designed to impose the least burden on California's hunters while still implementing the intent of the law. AB 711 builds on the previously enacted ban on the use of nonlead ammunition for big game and nongame hunting within the range of the California condor. Existing lead restrictions in the California condor range remain in effect.

CDFW and the California Fish and Game Commission have developed a process to certify projectiles as meeting the nonlead threshold (less than or equal to one percent lead content) for purposes of these regulations. Manufacturers are required to undergo an application process to have their ammunition certified as legal for use. If you would like your product(s) considered as legal projectiles in California, please submit a Nonlead Cartridge/Projectile Certification Application.

Once your application is received and approved, the ammunition/projectile(s) will be added to CDFW's list of certified nonlead ammunition. The department will notify each applicant after a review has been made of the information submitted.

For questions regarding the nonlead certification process, please email

Wildlife Branch - Game Program
1010 Riverside Parkway, West Sacramento, CA 95605
Mailing: P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
(916) 557-3444