Yesterday, Senate Bill 156 was introduced and has now been assigned to the Senate Banking and Business Committee. Under SB 156, the sale, purchase, and possession with intent to sell of any ivory, ivory product, or items which include any animal’s teeth or tusks would be prohibited. Virtually any currently lawful item containing any amount of ivory, except documented antiques, would be rendered valueless as it could be a misdemeanor for you to sell it or for another person to buy it. This bill would harm those who have no part in the illegal activities that this misguided legislation is attempting to prevent; 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.
The prohibitions within SB 156 are even stricter than recent federal proposals to further restrict domestic sales of ivory. There will be severe penalties and fines for persons found guilty of selling ivory, ivory products, rhinoceros horns and similar items. 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.
Please contact members of the Senate Banking and Business Committee and urge them to oppose Senate Bill 156 when it comes before them for consideration.