Model Ivory Ban Letter to NJ Governor Christie

(Subject: VETO S.2012/A.3128)

Dear Governor Christie,

I am writing to respectfully request that you please VETO S.2012/A.3128, the ivory Ban Bill just passed by the legislature.

I, like all Americans, find the out-of-control poaching of African elephants appalling. Unfortunately, instead of going after poachers, smugglers and traders of illicit ivory, the New Jersey legislature has decided to attack innocent New Jerseyans by passing an absurd Ivory Ban that will not save a single living elephant.

This ban would irreparably harm owners of ivory-handled and fossil ivory-handled knives, antiques, musical instruments and any items containing ivory legally imported into this country decades ago by stripping their value – a taking of millions of dollars from law-abiding New Jerseyans. The ban would criminalize legitimate business owners and cause immediate ruinous financial loss for them. It will cost the state millions of dollars in tax revenue and not save a single elephant!

[If you are personally affected by the ban, if you own any ivory or any item with even the smallest amount of ivory, add this section] Even though I have never traded illegal ivory, the proposed ban would punish me by [describe what you own that will be devalued or how your business will be hurt]

Adding insult to injury, the ban goes against U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ longstanding position that virtually all ivory in the U.S. was legally imported before elephants were listed as endangered species and its sale in the U.S. has no impact on poaching in Africa.

This outrageous and draconian bill also represents an unconstitutional “taking” of protected private property, violating both the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, #1 and #20 of the N.J. Constitution. While lawsuits challenging this law, if signed, wend their way though the courts, untold hundreds or thousands of ivory owners will be arrested and prosecuted under this absurd law.

This bill will not save a single elephant! This is “feel good – do bad” legislation at its worst!

Please do not allow this ill-conceived and economically devastating bill that won’t save a single elephant to become law. Please VETO S.2012/A.3128.

Thank you for your support,

(Include your name, city, state, and e-mail address at a minimum – If not a New Jersey resident, explain how you do business in New jersey and woudl be affected by this law.)