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Important "Ivory" Bill Introduced

Friday, February 6, 2015

Important "Ivory" Bill Introduced

Please Contact Your U.S. Rep. and Ask Him or Her to Cosponsor and Support H.R. 697

U.S. Representative Don Young (R-Alaska-At Large) recently introduced H.R. 697, a bill that would prevent the Obama Administration from banning the U.S. sale and trade of legally owned ivory, as well as ensure that sport-hunted elephant trophies can be imported from countries with sustainable elephant populations.

Recently, the Administration has taken steps to ban the domestic sale and trade of legally owned items that contain ivory under the guise that the ban will stop poaching and end the international illicit trade in ivory. In the U.S., ivory has long been used in gun making, just as it has been used in fine furniture, jewelry, and musical instruments. Ivory is widely used in rifle and shotgun sights and sight inserts, and for ornamental inlays in rifle and shotgun stocks.  Custom handguns--such as General George S. Patton’s famous revolvers--are also often fitted with ivory grips.  Ivory is also widely used in related accessories used by hunters and fishermen, such as handles on knives, gun cleaning equipment, and tools. While the goal of restricting illegal commerce wildlife is laudable, restricting trade in these items--all made of ivory from elephants taken long ago--will do nothing to further current anti-poaching efforts, or to reduce the international illicit ivory trade.

In addition, the Administration intends to limit the number of sport-hunted African elephant trophies that an individual can import to two per 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.

H.R. 697 would prevent the Administration from banning the sale and trade of legally-owned ivory in the U.S., as well as ensure that sport-hunted elephant trophies can be imported from countries with sustainable elephant populations. The NRA fully supports H.R. 697 and appreciates Rep. Young’s leadership on this important issue.

Please Contact Your U.S. Rep. and Ask Him or Her to Cosponsor and Support H.R. 697

You can contact your U.S. Representative about this important legislation by using our "Write Your Lawmakers" tool or by phone at (202) 225-3121. 

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

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