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Massachusetts: Ivory Ban Legislation Pending in Legislature

Monday, April 20, 2015

Massachusetts: Ivory Ban Legislation Pending in Legislature

Please contact members of the respective committees and politely urge them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 440 and House Bill 1275!

S.440, sponsored by Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester), and its companion, H.1275, sponsored by Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead), are two misguided bills that would prohibit the sale, offer for sale, lease, purchase, trade, barter, distribution or transfer of possession of ivory or ivory product in Massachusetts, absent limited exceptions.  These bills were introduced with the intent of curbing the poaching of elephants in Africa and helping to end the illegal ivory trade.  Unfortunately, they would not accomplish the purported objective and would only have a negative impact on those who possess lawfully acquired ivory.

Illegal trade in wildlife, as well as poaching for meat and products such as horns and tusks, takes its toll on the health and viability of wildlife populations.  Further, it undermines the tremendous sustainability achievements made possible by hunters and other wildlife conservationists in the United States and other parts of the world.  The NRA applauds serious efforts to stop poaching and the illegal ivory trade, but these pieces of legislation will not contribute to that goal.

S.440 and H.1275 would, however, negatively impact those who have no part in these illegal activities.  American collectors, sportsmen, hunters, and recreational shooters have legally purchased firearms that incorporate ivory features for decades.  These include some of America’s most historically significant and collectible guns.  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 S.440 and H.1275, 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.  NRA is opposed to this legislation because, if implemented, it would prohibit the sale of property that had been acquired legally and in good faith.  Needless to say, property that cannot be sold is radically diminished in value.

While the NRA stands in opposition to the illegal ivory trade and poaching, banning the trade and sale of legally owned, pre-ban ivory will not save one elephant (much less mammoths, ivory from which is covered in the bills, even though the creatures themselves are long extinct).

Please use the information provided below to contact members of the Joint Committee on Judiciary and respectfully urge them to OPPOSE House Bill 1275 and contact members of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture and respectfully urge them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 440.

Joint Committee on Judiciary:

Senator William Brownsberger (D-Belmont), Chair
Phone: 617-722-1280
Email: William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov    

Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy), Vice Chair
Phone: 617-722-1494
Email: John.Keenan@masenate.gov      

Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston)
Phone: 617-722-1673
Email: Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov              

Senator Cynthia Creem (D-Newton)
Phone: 617-722-1639
Email: Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov  

Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville)
Phone: 617-722-1578
Email: Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov   

Senator Richard Ross (R-Wrentham)
Phone: 617-722-1555
Email: Richard.Ross@masenate.gov       

Representative John Fernandes (D-Milford), Chair
Phone: 617-722-2396
Email: John.Fernandes@mahouse.gov 

Representative Claire Cronin (D-Easton), Vice Chair
Phone: 617-722-2396
Email: Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov        

Representative Colleen Garry (D-Dracut)
Phone: 617-722-2380
Email: Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov      

Representative John Velis (D-Westfield)
Phone: 617-722-2582
Email: john.velis@mahouse.gov              

Representative Michael Day (D-Stoneham)
Phone: 617-722-2582
Email: Michael.Day@mahouse.gov         

Representative Paul Tucker (D-Salem)
Phone: 617-722-2400
Email: Paul.Tucker@mahouse.gov          

Representative James Lyons, Jr. (R-Andover)
Phone: 617-722-2460
Email: James.Lyons@mahouse.gov

Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin)
Phone: 617-722-2020
Email: Jeffrey.Roy@mahouse.gov

Representative Evandro Carvalho (D-Dorchester)
Phone: 617-722-2460
Email: Evandro.Carvalho@mahouse.gov              

Representative Carlos Gonzalez (D-Springfield)
Phone: 617-722-2080
Email: Carlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.gov  

Representative Sheila Harrington (R-Groton)
Phone: 617-722-2305
Email: Sheila.Harrington@mahouse.gov               


Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee:

Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Chair
Phone: 617-722-1540
Email: anne.gobi@masenate.gov            

Senator Michael Rush (D-West Roxbury), Vice Chair
Phone: 617-722-1348
Email: Mike.Rush@masenate.gov           

Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton)
Phone: 617-722-1120
Email: James.Eldridge@masenate.gov  

Senator James Timilty (D-Walpole)\
Phone: 617 722-1222
Email: James.Timilty@masenate.gov     

Senator Thomas McGee (D-Lynn)
Phone: 617-722-1350
Email: Thomas.McGee@masenate.gov 

Senator Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth)
Phone: 617-722-1646
Email: Robert.Hedlund@masenate.gov

Representative Paul Schmid, III (D-Westport), Chair
Phone: 617-722-2210
Email: Paul.Schmid@mahouse.gov         

Representative Brian Mannal (D-Barnstable), Vice Chair
Phone: 617-722-2210
Email: Brian.Mannal@mahouse.gov       

Representative Robert Koczera (D-New Bedford)
Phone: 617-722-2582
Email: Robert.Koczera@mahouse.gov   

Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston)
Phone: 617-722-2680
Email: Carolyn.Dykema@mahouse.gov 

Representative Mary Keefe (D-Worcester)
Phone: 617-722-2210
Email: Mary.Keefe@mahouse.gov          

Representative Christine Barber (D-Somerville)
Phone: 617-722-2430
Email: Christine.Barber@mahouse.gov 

Representative James Kelcourse (R-Amesbury)
Phone: 617-722-2130
Email: james.kelcourse@mahouse.gov 

Representative James Cantwell (D-Marshfield)
Phone: 617-722-2140
Email: James.Cantwell@mahouse.gov  

Representative Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury)
Phone: 617-722-2014
Email: Josh.Cutler@mahouse.gov           

Representative Jay Livingstone (D-Boston)
Phone: 617-722-2396
Email: Jay.Livingstone@mahouse.gov   

Representative Donald Berthiaume, Jr (R-Spencer)
Phone: 617-722-2090
Email: Donald.Berthiaume@mahouse.gov           

Massachusetts Ivory

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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.