On Friday, Senate Bill 398 introduced by Senator Mo Denis (D-2), will be heard in the Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee. SB 398 would prohibit the sale, offer for sale, lease, purchase, trade, barter, distribution or transfer of possession of ivory or ivory product in Nevada, absent limited exceptions. SB 398 was introduced with the intent of curbing poaching of elephants in Africa and helping to end the illegal ivory trade. Unfortunately, SB 398 would not accomplish its purported objective and would only have a negative impact on those who possess lawfully acquired ivory.
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 398, virtually any lawful item containing any amount of ivory, with very limited and narrow exceptions, would be rendered valueless as it would be a misdemeanor for you to sell it or for another person to buy it. The bottom line is: any property made from a product that was lawfully acquired should not be made illegal to sell; such an action is effectively a taking of property without compensation.
Senate Bill 398 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee tomorrow, April 3 at 8:30 a.m. Please contact the members of the Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee and politely urge them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 398. Committee contact information can be found below.
Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee:
Senator James Settelmeyer (R-17), Chair
Senator Patricia Farley (R-8), Vice-Chair
Senator Joseph Hardy (R-12)
Senator Becky Harris (R-9)
Senator Mark Manendo (D-21)
Senator Kelvin Atkinson (D-4)
Senator Pat Spearman (D-1)