Massachusetts: Ivory Bills to Come Up in Committee This Fall

Ivory Ban
Ivory Ban
NRA - Institute for Legislative Action
NRA – Institute for Legislative Action

Fairfax, VA -(AmmoLand.com)- The Joint Committee on the Judiciary has tentatively scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, October 21, to discuss legislation aiming to ban the intrastate trade in legal ivory and ivory products.

As previously reported, Senate Bill 440, sponsored by Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester), and its companion, House Bill 1275, sponsored by Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead), are two misguided bills that would prohibit the importation, sale, offer for sale, purchase, barter or possession with intent to sell legal ivory or ivory product in Massachusetts, with very limited exceptions.

These bills are based on the entirely false premise that they will reduce the poaching of elephants in Africa and help end the illegal ivory trade. In truth, banning trade in legal ivory would only have a negative impact on those who possess lawfully acquired ivory in Massachusetts.

The NRA applauds serious efforts to stop poaching and the illegal ivory trade, but these proposals 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. Ivory is also commonly integrated in accessories used by hunters and fishermen, such as knife handles, and handles for gun cleaning equipment and tools.

Additionally, neither bill would allow antique dealers and collectors to buy or sell other legal, antique ivory and ivory products such as musical instruments, jewelry and furniture pieces. For example, a person selling an ivory product, such as an antique piano with ivory keys, could unknowingly become a felon overnight.

Historically, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has maintained the position that most ivory in the U.S. has been legally imported and that its sale in the U.S. has not materially contributed to the illegal ivory trade. Despite this fact, these measures focus on the taking of property that was acquired legally and in good faith. 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 mammoth ivory which is covered in the bills, even though mammoths have long been extinct).

Please contact members of the Judiciary Committee and voice your opposition to these bills.

About the NRA-ILA:

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.

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  • 3 thoughts on “Massachusetts: Ivory Bills to Come Up in Committee This Fall

    1. Any state that enacts such legislation will prove that their legislators are more interested in power to control people,but not common sense. Here’s a deal for such states and the national legislature to consider; If you want to reduce poaching by outlawing objects that have been legal for years or even centuries, buy the objects at current market values. The proposed legislation will make them valueless and virtually impossible to pass to descendants. We are a fair country. Buy them, then no one has to worry about what to do with them. IF you are really serious and want to be fair , BUY them. But what are you going to do about fossilized mastodon ivory??? Think about the actual long term implications of any legislation you enact. Remember the old saying about a flap of a butterfly wing.

      1. So what about ivory that is in state museums? Or in school/university/educational facilities, guess the state is also in violation of their own bullshit laws!

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