Alexander Introduces Bill to Prohibit Administration’s Over-Regulation of Legal Ivory Trade

Says Tennessee musicians, antique shops, and firearms sellers shouldn’t be treated “like illegal ivory smugglers”

July 10, 2014 - July 10, 2014

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“The Obama administration’s announced plan to limit the trade of legal ivory—such as that found in legally produced guitars, pianos, and firearms — could prohibit musicians from buying or selling instruments that contain ivory, prevent firearms and family heirlooms containing ivory from being sold, and pose a significant threat to antique businesses.” – Lamar Alexander 

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2014 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today introduced legislation that would prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from restricting interstate commerce of legal ivory, and products containing legal ivory. U.S. Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) has introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Alexander said, “The Obama administration’s announced plan to limit the trade of legal ivory—such as that found in legally produced guitars, pianos, and firearms — could prohibit musicians from buying or selling instruments that contain ivory, prevent firearms and family heirlooms containing ivory from being sold, and pose a significant threat to antique businesses. This amendment would prevent Washington overreach from treating Tennessee musicians, families and small businesses like illegal ivory smugglers.”

In February, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced its plan to prohibit interstate commerce of African elephant ivory as part of President Obama’s National Strategy for Combatting Wildlife Trade. Restricting interstate commerce of ivory would affect whether an item containing ivory can be sold across state lines within the United States, as well as whether it can legally re-enter the United States if carried abroad during travel.

Alexander’s action today follows his introduction yesterday of the same proposal as an amendment to the Sportsmen’s Act (which the Senate failed to vote on). The legislation would prohibit the administration from implementing this plan and prohibits the Fish and Wildlife Service from implementing any new rule, order, or standard that wasn’t in place prior to Feb. 25, 2014.