March 20, 2014.
Knife Rights represents America’s millions of knife owners, knifemakers, scrimshaw artists, knife retailers and suppliers to knifemakers and scrimshaw artists, many of whom own legally acquired ivory or knives with ivory components.
Knife Rights opposes the ban on commercial sales and trade in ivory within the U.S. This action unfairly and illegally persecutes honest ivory owners who find their investment in legally acquired ivory “taken” by government edict and made worthless in violation of the 5th Amendment, their livelihood stolen from them in some cases. They now find themselves not only treated as criminals, but also without any onus on the government to prove illicit activity. Rather, they must prove their innocence, an affront to America’s longstanding legal principles and protections of its citizen’s rights.
Knife Rights and all those we represent support science-based conservation efforts that have proven successful in posting significant gains in elephant populations. We support practical and lawful efforts to defend elephants in the field from poachers, as well as lawful enforcement activities that directly target illegal black-market trade in ivory. This ivory ban accomplishes none of these effective and proven objectives.
To the contrary, it is reasonable to expect that the unintended consequences of this irrational and unlawful ivory ban will likely increase poaching and senseless slaughter of elephants. That is the exact opposite of the desired outcome.
This ivory ban is ill-conceived, offensive and illegal. The new rules should be immediately rescinded and we should go back to what has effectively worked for decades to restrict illegal trade in ivory in the U.S. The government should not unfairly penalize American ivory owners for others’ illegal and immoral activities that continue to threaten elephants, and which this ivory ban does nothing to ameliorate.
Knife Rights has submitted a detailed letter reinforcing the points made in this brief statement.