Vote “NO” on Irrational & Draconian Washington Ivory Ban Initiative 1401

Stop Illegal Ivory Ban
Stop Illegal Ivory Ban

Gilbert, AZ –-( Washington State's disingenuous and draconian Initiative 1401, “The Washington Animal Trafficking Initiative” AKA Ivory Ban, is up for a vote in Tuesday's General Election. Knife Rights urges you to vote “NO” on this ill-conceived, irrational and deceitful ivory ban.

The Initiative's proponents are led by so-called “animal rights” organizations that spend virtually nothing on actual conservation and it is heavily funded by billionaire Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. I-1401 will punish law-abiding citizens who own or collect ordinary items, including knives, antiques, artwork, jewelry, firearms and accessories, furniture and many other lawfully owned and obtained items that contain ivory, or any other “covered animal” part or products.

There is NO EVIDENCE whatsoever that this new law would do anything to curb the poaching of elephants in Africa which feeds the black market for ivory in China, but it will steal Millions of Dollars from honest Washingtonians!

Knife Rights abhors the poaching of all species. Knife Rights supports science-based conservation efforts that have proven successful in posting SIGNIFICANT GAINS in elephant populations in Africa over the past few decades. Knife Rights supports practical and lawful efforts to defend elephants in the field from poachers as well as lawful enforcement activities that directly target the illegal black-market trade in ivory that have resulted in a REDUCTION in elephant poaching over the past four years. The I-1401 ivory ban accomplishes none of these effective and proven objectives.

Numerous Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) studies and fact sheets have repeatedly concluded that the U.S. black market in Ivory is negligible and has no cause and effect link to poaching. Dr. Daniel Stiles, an internationally recognized expert on the illegal ivory trade who has been cited by FWS has unambiguously stated in a recent federal filing that “[t]here is currently no demand for new poached raw ivory in the U.S.”

This 15-page Initiative is filled with lies and fabricated or misleading “facts” in support of a highly emotional appeal to “save the elephants.” I-1401 will ban all trade in any item containing elephant ivory or any prohibited animal part — even if the item was legally imported or crafted decades ago, was legally acquired and has been legally possessed. It provides a few exceptions that are mostly illusionary because they would be so difficult to take advantage of. In addition to excessive penalties, the enforcement mechanisms in the Initiative allow the government to seize and sell or donate valued personal property that contains the prohibited parts or products

Federal law contains extensive provisions restricting or prohibiting the import, possession and trade in endangered species, including animal parts. Washington State law protects local wildlife and already has a prohibition on the possession of any animal product from another country where the wildlife is known to have been illegally hunted or killed. I-1401 adds no real protections that don't already exist in law, but does serious and potentially devastating harm to many Washingtonians.

While it misleadingly and dishonestly claims to stop the trafficking of animals threatened with extinction, Initiative 1401 actually only punishes honest Washington citizens by making their lawful property worthless. It will make illegal “traffickers” subject to outrageous penalties out of those lawful ivory owners who attempt to buy or sell property containing any part of a “covered animal species.”

I-1401 will not save a single elephant in Africa and will only steal the property of honest citizens. On Tuesday, November 3, 2015, Knife Rights urges you to vote “NO” on Initiative 1401

Knife Rights ( is America's Grassroots Knife Owners Organization, working towards a Sharper Future for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice in public policy. Become a Knife Rights member and make a contribution to support the fight for your knife rights. Visit

  • 8 thoughts on “Vote “NO” on Irrational & Draconian Washington Ivory Ban Initiative 1401

    1. Robert -Actually, if you look at the initiative carefully, it will continue to be legal to pass down family heirlooms with or without a will. The distribution exception allows the acquisition of these items by family members as a result of a “will, estate or trust”. The key word here is “estate”. An estate is always present when someone dies, whether or not there is a will. The decedent’s property is their estate. Therefore, items within the estate can be passed down to family members. It is bad when incorrect info gets circulated because it can cause people to vote one way or another based on that incorrect info.

    2. It might do, if you write an article, any article, that grammar and spelling are a prerequisite. Secondly, I happen to spend quite a bit of money of my highly taxed income on “conservation” by donations to actual conservation groups that no matter what lies you blather, how you rant, and the scare tactics you use, actually do save animal’s lives. So, who are you kidding? Because I don’t purchase bullets, I, somehow in your ill-perceived, convoluted judgement, am not a part of conservation? I do not want to curb your gun ownership, I believe in the second amendment, but I also believe hunters do not have the right to kill whatever animals they want. Gun ownership and hunting are two separate issues, (if you had a brain, you’d realize that), and those who want sane parameters on hunting, and an outright ban on trophy hunting are not all anti-gun, they are anti-killing indiscriminately. There has to be rules, without you trying to scare citizens into believing that other citizens want to take away your right to bear arms because they want to ban trophy hunting or have common sense rules applied to hunting. And, because your constituents seemingly are gullible and lack education, they believe you. Whether you like it or not, there has to be rational dialogue that allows for middle ground, however it is obvious, you don’t favor that. In fact, you can hardly speak, nor write, in the English language for your lack of linguistic prowess and vitriol. I suggest you finish elementary school. Perhaps, a civics course, if your intellect allows it. Then, see about Emily Post, you have not one whit of manners.

      1. Nowhere does the article mention gun ban! I have an heirloom pocketknife with Ivory handles I don’t want to lose with this stupid idea.

      2. I don’t understand where your statement so coming from as I saw no allusion to gun bans in the article. No one said anything about impacting lawful hunts, or trophy hunts as you called them. The article maintained that this initiative will have no proven impact on the illegal poaching of the animals it claims to protect. There are stringent federal laws in place that restrict the trade of animal parts. So please, instead if launching an attack on the writing prowess (or lack thereof) of the author, point out some study that shows how this initiative will help stop poaching WITHOUT criminalizing currently am legally owned products containing I.g said animal products. As written this initiative will criminalize the familial transfer of heirlooms without 100 years of written historical providence. So please tell me how making it illegal to hand down my mother’s jewelry to my children will stop poaching on foreign soil that said jewelry had absolutely no contribution to. Please explain to me, how it can be illegal to obtain the possessions of a loved one who passes suddenly without a will. Passage of this initiative will do exactly this, so how does that stop poaching or protect animals in ANY way?

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