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Update on the Obama Administration's Proposed Ban on the Domestic Sale of Ivory and Importation of Elephant Trophies

Friday, May 23, 2014

In recent Grassroots Alerts, we addressed the Obama administration's proposal to ban the trade and sale of legally owned ivory within the United States (click here to see the initial alert).  The NRA supports efforts to stop poaching and the illegal trade of ivory, but this proposed ban on legally owned ivory sold domestically will have no impact on poaching of elephants and the illegal ivory trade.  On the contrary, this ban will only affect honest law-abiding Americans by making their possessions valueless.  Please see this New York Times article highlighting the broad spectrum of people who will be harmed by the ban.

On a related issue, on April 4, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced it would unilaterally ban the importation of sport-hunted elephants from Zimbabwe and Tanzania in an effort to stop elephant poaching.  FWS's decision appears to have been made without any consultation of the affected African nations, and is founded on "limited" data and "anecdotal" evidence.  FWS has failed to demonstrate how a ban on the import of legally-taken, sport-hunted elephants will help prevent poaching in Zimbabwe and Tanzania.  Further, on May 15, 2014, FWS announced it would soon limit the number of African elephant sport-hunted trophies a person can import to the U.S. in a calendar year.  Hunting has, in fact, been hailed as a valuable tool of wildlife conservation in Africa because it contributes hundreds of thousands of dollars to the economic well being of local communities, as well as provides resources to combat poaching.  Limiting legally-taken trophies from sustainable populations is an ill-advised and scientifically unsupportable restriction.

We ask again that you please email and call the White House at 202-456-1111 and email and call the Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-9453, to let them know you oppose the ban on commercial sale and trade of firearms with ivory, as well as the limitations on the importation of sport-hunted elephants.

Also, please call your Representative and Senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them the same.


Your actions today may determine if the sale of firearms that contain ivory, as well as the importation of sport-hunted elephants, will be banned.  The NRA is currently meeting with offices in the House and Senate, and we will continue to keep you informed as this issue progresses.

For more information on the proposed ivory ban, please read the NRA-ILA Ivory Ban Fact Sheet here.

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.