Yesterday, the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee indefinitely postponed House Bill 1341 by a 3-2 vote.
Sponsored by state Representative Joann Ginal (D-52), HB 1341 sought to punish law-abiding citizens who collect and trade ordinary items, including antiques, artwork, jewelry, knives, firearms and accessories, furniture and many other lawfully owned and obtained items that contain ivory or any other “covered animal species part or product.” The purported goal of HB 1341 was to prevent poaching and trafficking of animals threatened with extinction. However, it encompassed hundreds of animals in the family classes of elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers, lions, leopards, cheetahs, pangolins, marine turtles, sharks and rays that are not all under threat in the wild. While the NRA supports efforts to stop poaching and the illegal trade of animal products, HB 1341 would not have materially contribute to that goal.
While HB 1341 contained limited exceptions, it would have harmed those who have no part in illegal activities; firearm owners, sportsmen, hunters, recreational shooters and gun collectors who have legally purchased or acquired firearms (as well as knives, jewelry, antiques and other items) that have incorporated ivory features for decades. These include some of America’s most historically-significant and collectible guns. Furthermore, shark skin—a very common material used in belt and shoulder holster construction because of its high abrasion resistance—would have been a prohibited product under House Bill 1341. The NRA opposed HB 1341 because, if implemented, it would have amounted to the taking of property that had been acquired legally and in good faith.
Thank you to NRA members and Second Amendment supporters who contacted their lawmakers in opposition to this misguided legislation.