“Big 5 Ban” Bill Will Make Felons of Hundreds of Thousands of New Jerseyans Who Own Items With Ivory, Mother of Pearl, Exotic Leather and Much More!
A hearing is being held Monday, November 9, at 1:00 PM in Trenton on S3416, an outrageous and draconian bill that bans mere POSSESSION of not only ivory, but also anything made from over 11,000 species of wildlife! We need people to attend the hearing to stop this legislation.
Under the misleading guise of a so-called “Big Five African Species ban” to take advantage of recent headlines about Cecil the lion, this legislation would ban possession, transportation, importation, exportation, processing, sale or offer for sale or shipment of any species listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered by a variety of unaccountable Non-Governmental Organizations. Ivory, Mother of Pearl, tortoise shell, exotic leathers – you name it – all would be criminal to possess or transport in New Jersey.
The only exemption for private ownership is if you get a certificate of legal ownership from New Jersey, for a license fee as yet undetermined for each item, within 180 days of the law taking effect, which would occur immediately upon signing by the Governor. If you didn’t possess the item in New Jersey before the law, then it is illegal. If you don’t register the item with the state, it is illegal. No antique exemption. No musical instrument exemption. No exemptions whatsoever!
Obviously, it is unlikely that even a small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents who own the newly banned items will even hear about the new law and register. How much will be charged for each certificate is unknown, but it is likely to be significant.
Any knife or sheath containing any parts including bone, teeth, horn, tusk, skin, etc. of any of the over 11,000 species would become illegal in New Jersey. You will never be able to sell or trade these items after the 180 day grace period in any case (and you can’t do so with ivory or mammoth ivory even now).
Violating this law by merely possessing items you have legally owned, even if for generations, would be a “crime of the third degree,” which is New Jersey legalese for a FELONY offense, punishable by fines of $5,000 – $50,000, civil penalties of $25,000 and 3-5 years in prison! Plus, as a convicted felon, your civil rights would be forfeited; no firearms and no vote anywhere you live in the U.S.
Like the current New Jersey ban on trade in ivory and mammoth ivory that went into effect this year, if people don’t protest this law, it will pass.
Sandra Brady is helping to organize people who will attend the hearing. Please contact her at 419-261-1582 or Sandy@SandraBradyArt.com if you have questions or can attend. We will provide more detailed instructions to people upon request.
For everyone who cannot be at the hearing, please call or email the members of the Budget and Appropriations Committee and ask them to OPPOSE S3416. A suggested model email is below. Contacts for committee members are:
Sarlo, Paul A. – Chair
Stack, Brian P. – Vice-Chair
(201) 721-5263 office
201) 376-1942 cell
Barnes, Peter J.
Bucco, Anthony R.
Cunningham, Sandra B.
Greenstein, Linda R.
O’Toole, Kevin J.
Oroho, Steven V.
Ruiz, M. Teresa
Thompson, Samuel D.
Van Drew, Jeff
Or copy and paste the email list below into an email:
SenSarlo@njleg.org; SenStack@njleg.org: SenBarnes@njleg.org: SenBeck@njleg.org: SenBucco@njleg.org: SenCunningham@njleg.org; SenGreenstein@njleg.org; SenOToole@njleg.org;SenOroho@njleg.org; SenPou@njleg.org; SenRuiz@njleg.org; SenThompson@njleg.org; SenVanDrew@njleg.org
While we have provided a model email below, we urge you to customize your email, or better yet, compose yours entirely from scratch using similar themes. Individualized emails have the most impact:
Subject: Please OPPOSE S3416
I am writing to respectfully request that you please OPPOSE S3416.
I, like all Americans, find the poaching of any species appalling. Unfortunately, instead of going after poachers, smugglers and traders of illicit species, this bill only attacks innocent New Jerseyans by passing an absurd, abusive and draconian ban on over 11,000 species that will not save a single living elephant, lion or any other of the over 11,000 listed species of wildlife.
This ban would irreparably harm owners of knives, antiques, musical instruments and any items containing ivory, Mother of Pearl, tortoise shell, exotic leathers and thousands of other items legally owned and imported into this country, a taking of tens of millions of dollars from law-abiding New Jersey citizens. The ban would criminalize legitimate business owners and cause immediate ruinous financial loss for them. It will cost the state millions of dollars in lost sales tax revenue and not save a single wild animal!
[If you are personally affected by the ban, if you or your family own any item with even the smallest amount of any wildlife that you know or believe might be endangered, threatened, vunerable or listed species, add this section] Even though I have never traded in illegal [insert wildlife], the proposed ban would punish me by [describe what you own that will be made illegal, its value destroyed, or how your business will be hurt]
While the bill includes a 180-day grace period to register items that include any of the over 11,000 listed species, it is absurd beyond belief to believe that any but a small minority of owners of these items will even be aware of the registration requirement, or even that the state will develop and a workable registration scheme in the limited time available. Even if registered, you are stealing the value from honest, law-abiding New Jerseyans and it will not save a single wild animal..
Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans will be subject to arrest for merely possessing items legally owned, even if for generations, for a “crime of the third degree,” a FELONY offense, punishable by fines of $5,000 – $50,000, civil penalties of $25,000 and 3-5 years in prison! Plus, as a convicted felon, their civil rights would be forfeited.
This outrageous and draconian bill also represents an unconstitutional “taking” of protected private property, violating the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While lawsuits challenging this law, if enacted, wend their way through the courts, untold thousands of citizens will be arrested and prosecuted under this absurd law.
This bill will not save a single animal of the over 11,000 listed species! This is “feel good – do bad” legislation at its worst! Please do not allow this ill-conceived and economically devastating bill become law. Please oppose S3416.
(Include your name, city, state, and e-mail address. If not a New Jersey resident, explain how you do business in New Jersey and would be affected by this bill.)
The radical “animal rights” activists will continue to overreach until we stop them. Please help by coming to this hearing or contacting the Committee members!