This afternoon, Senate Bill 1215 will receive its first hearing before the Senate Courts of Justice Committee a half hour after the adjournment of the full Senate in Senate Room B. Sponsored by anti-gun Senator Adam Ebbin (D-30), SB 1215 was introduced with the supposed intent of curbing poaching and helping to end the illegal ivory trade. Unfortunately, SB 1215 would accomplish neither of these purported objectives. The bill would, however, harm those who have no part in these activities; firearm owners, sportsmen, hunters, recreational shooters and gun collectors who have legally purchased firearms (and knives, jewelry and other items) that have incorporated ivory features for decades.
Historically, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintained the position that most ivory in the U.S. has been legally imported and that its sale in the U.S. did not materially contribute to the illegal ivory trade. Nevertheless, under SB 1215 the import, sale, purchase, barter, and possession with intent to sell of any ivory (defined to include mammoth ivory), ivory product, rhinoceros horn, or rhinoceros horn product would be prohibited. Virtually any lawful item containing any amount of ivory would be rendered valueless as it could be a felony for you to sell it or for another person to buy it.
Senate Bill 1215 would significantly diminish the value of legally obtained firearms containing any ivory, even if that ivory was legally purchased or is a bona fide antique. This is even stricter than recent federal proposals to further restrict domestic sales of ivory. If implemented, the proposed ban would make sales of legally acquired ivory and horn products a Class 1 misdemeanor, with second or subsequent offenses punishable as a Class 6 felony, even if the seller was ignorant of the law and presumed the item’s original lawful acquisition shielded it from the scope of regulation.
Please contact members of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee and politely urge them to oppose Senate Bill 1215. Contact information is provided below.