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Void where prohibited.

UPDATED 09/13/2019: With regards to ivory and animal parts as commonly used in knives, the following summary is in reference to “modern” knives and their accouterments (a sheath, display stand, etc.). 

There are some “antique” exceptions for knives in excess of 100 years old for some of these bans. There are also some other narrow exceptions (“restrictions” noted below) to these bans. These antique exemptions and restrictions can be reviewed at the “State Law” links provided below.

With regards possession or inheritance, generally, any knives or other possessions already owned at time of the law’s passage are generally grandfathered, but some states require registration in order to take advantage of that exception and typically there is a time limit in which that must be accomplished. These can be reviewed at the “State Law” links provided below.  If the time limit for registration has passed, it may be illegal to possess or trade.

The following is not legal advice. Knife Rights cannot provide legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice. Knife Rights does not claim or warrant that this is a complete listing of ivory and animal parts bans in the U.S.

Note that in regards to bans or restrictions on fossil “Mammoth” ivory, in the opinion of our legal advisors this also includes fossil “Mastodon” ivory even if not specifically named in the statute and both “tooth” (even if not specifically named in the statute) and “tusk” are included.

Penalties typically include confiscation and fines, which can be up to five figures, plus potentially up to a year in jail in some states for some offenses, and you may end up with a criminal conviction, which could prove extremely detrimental. 

Trade across state lines in raw Elephant ivory and knives with Elephant ivory is illegal unless it meets the criteria outlined at:  https://kniferights.org/legislative-update/federal-ivory-ban-rule-goes-into-effect-july-6-2016/

International trade in Elephant ivory is illegal.  International trade of mammoth ivory is legal, BUT, federal officials are aggressively enforcing ivory rules and may demand clear documentation that the ivory is mammoth ivory, especially if it is interior fossil ivory.

At the bottom of the page are links to the the actual statutes or bills enacted.

What is Illegal or Restricted in Which States (below is list of states with what is illegal by state)

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory is illegal in CA, HI, IL, NJ, NY, OR and WA

Trade in raw Elephant ivory is illegal in CA, CT, HI, IL, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OR and WA

Trade in knives with Walrus ivory or raw walrus ivory is illegal in IL.

Trade in knives with Walrus ivory or fossil Walrus ivory is illegal in CA and HI.

Trade in raw Walrus ivory or fossil Walrus ivory is illegal in CA, HI and NV.

Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory is illegal in CA, HI, IL, NJ and NY

Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory is illegal in CA, HI, IL, NJ, NV and NY

Trade in knives with Elephant, Walrus or Mammoth ivory is restricted in NV

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory is restricted in NH

Trade in parts (whether raw or incorporated) used in knives and knife accessories of a number of animals is illegal in CT and IL (see below for details by state and State Law listing).

By State – What is Illegal or Restricted

California – Illegal:

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory
Trade in knives with Walrus ivory
Trade in raw Walrus ivory
Trade in knives with fossil Walrus ivory
Trade in raw fossil Walrus ivory
Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory

Connecticut – Illegal

Trade in African elephant ivory or parts (whether raw or incorporated)
Trade in African giraffe parts (whether raw or incorporated)
Knives with ivory of any kind and fossil animal parts are specifically exempted.

Hawaii – Illegal:

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory is illegal
Trade in knives with Walrus ivory
Trade in raw Walrus ivory
Trade in knives with fossil Walrus ivory
Trade in raw fossil Walrus ivory
Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory

Illinois – Illegal:

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory
Trade in knives with Walrus ivory
Trade in raw Walrus ivory
Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in parts (whether raw or incorporated) of cheetah, elephant, giraffe, great ape, hippopotamus, jaguar, leopard, lion, monk seal, narwhal, pangolin, ray or shark, rhinoceros, sea turtle, tiger, walrus and whale

Nevada – Illegal

Trade in raw Elephant ivory
Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in raw Walrus ivory
Trade in raw fossil Walrus ivory
Trade in knives with Elephant, Walrus or fossil “Mammoth” is Restricted (refer to law link below)

New Hampshire – Illegal

Trade in raw Elephant ivory
Trade in knives with Elephant ivory is Restricted (refer to law link below)

New Jersey – Illegal

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory is illegal
Trade in raw Elephant ivory
Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory

New York – Illegal

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory
Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory

Oregon – Illegal

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory

Washington – Illegal

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory

The State Laws:

CA: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billCompareClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB96
CT: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/ACT/PA/PDF/2021PA-00052-R00SB-00925-PA.PDF
HI: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2647_HD2_.pdf
IL: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=10200HB0395enr&GA=102&SessionId=110&DocTypeId=HB&LegID=&DocNum=395&GAID=16&SpecSess=&Session=
NH: https://legiscan.com/NH/text/SB451/id/1664552
NJ: http://codes.findlaw.com/nj/title-23-fish-and-game-wild-birds-and-animals/nj-st-sect-23-2a-13-3.html
NY: http://codes.findlaw.com/ny/environmental-conservation-law/env-sect-11-0535-a.html
NV: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/79th2017/Bill/5060/Text
OR: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/498.022
WA: https://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/FinalText_784.pdf