“For those of us who are concerned that this administration is trying to take away our guns, this regulation could actually do that. If this regulation is approved, when you decide to sell a gun, a guitar or anything else across state lines that contains [legal] African elephant ivory, the government would actually take them away.” – Lamar Alexander
WASHINGTON, July 24, 2014 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) yesterday spoke on the Senate floor on legislation he has introduced that prevents the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from prohibiting the interstate commerce of legal ivory, and products that contain legal ivory, such as firearms, musical instruments, antiques, and family heirlooms.
“For those of us who are concerned that this administration is trying to take away our guns, this regulation could actually do that,” Alexander said. “If this regulation is approved, when you decide to sell a gun, a guitar or anything else across state lines that contains [legal] African elephant ivory, the government would actually take them away – even if you inherited them or bought them at a time when the sale of ivory was not illegal.”
Alexander continued, “I support stopping poachers, and I support stopping the trade of illegal ivory. What I don’t support is treating Tennessee musicians, antique shops, and firearms sellers like illegal ivory smugglers… This legislation will stop the administration from taking away our legal guns, guitars, and other items that contain legal ivory if we try to sell them across state lines.”
Alexander introduced S. 2587, the Lawful Ivory Protection Act of 2014, in response to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s announced 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 bill would “stop this misguided policy from going forward” and prohibit the Fish and Wildlife Service from implementing any new rule, order, or standard that wasn’t in place prior to Feb. 25, 2014. Alexander also introduced this month the same proposal as an amendment to the Sportsmen’s Act (which the Senate failed to vote on).