On Wednesday, March 4, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear House Bill 713 at 1:00 p.m. HB 713 was introduced with the supposed intent of curbing poaching and helping to end the illegal ivory trade. Unfortunately, HB 713 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 HB 713 the import, sale, purchase, barter, and possession with intent to sell of any ivory (defined to include any teeth or tusk), ivory product, or items which included any animal’s teeth or tusks (including wildlife mounts) will be prohibited. Virtually any lawful item containing any amount of ivory would be rendered valueless as it could be a misdemeanor for you to sell it or for another person to buy it.
House Bill 713 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 misdemeanor, with second or subsequent offenses punishable as a felony.
Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and politely urge them to oppose House Bill 713. Contact information is provided below.
House Judiciary Committee:
Delegate Joseph F. Vallario, Jr. (D-23B), Chair
Delegate Kathleen M. Dumais (D-15), Vice Chair
Delegate Curt Anderson (D-43)
Delegate Vanessa E. Atterbeary (D-13)
Delegate Will Campos (D-47B)
Delegate Jill P. Carter (D-41)
Delegate John W. E. Cluster, Jr. (R-8)
Delegate Frank M. Conaway, Jr. (D-40)
Delegate William Folden (R-3B)
Delegate Glen Glass (R-34A)
Delegate Jay Jalisi (D-10)
Delegate Trent Kittleman (R-9A)
Delegate Susan K. McComas (R-34B)
Delegate David Moon (D-20)
Delegate Marice Morales (D-19)
Delegate Neil Parrott (R-2A)
Delegate Deborah C. Rey (R-29B)
Delegate Samuel I. Rosenberg (D-41)
Delegate William C. Smith, Jr.(D-20)
Delegate Charles E. Sydnor, III (D-44B)
Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith (D-23A)
Delegate Brett Wilson (R-2B)