March 28, 2015: The Illinois Senate Environment and Conservation Committee defeated Senate Bill 1858 by a 6-4 vote. SB 1858 was a draconian bill that would have banned the sale or purchase of any ivory, including mammoth ivory, in the state with no exceptions whatsoever. This is the fourth ivory ban bill defeated so far this year (Maryland, Virginia and Washington previously).
The defeat came after an alliance of organizations opposed to the bill, including Knife Rights, helped make it clear to the committee members that it was terribly problematic for honest, law-abiding Illinois residents, stealing millions in value from them, and that it would not save a single living elephant in Africa.
When we are allowed the opportunity to explain the facts involved and the reality of the illicit trade in elephant ivory, in which Americans have virtually no involvement whatsoever, we have a good chance of changing the minds of those who have been mislead by emotionally charged, politically and financially motivated efforts to ban legal elephant ivory that’s been in the country for decades and mammoth ivory that’s 10,000 years old.
The bright light of the truth and facts can carry the day given half a chance. Like all Americans, we find the poaching of African elephants appalling and reprehensible. Unfortunately, instead of going after poachers, smugglers and traders of illicit ivory, Ivory Ban bills only attack innocent Americans without any likelihood of having an impact on the poaching problem.