The NRA is supporting a bill introduced in the U.S. House and Senate that protects firearms owners and sportsmen from a federal ban on the sale and trade of objects containing lawfully imported elephant ivory. Representative Steve Daines (R-MT) has introduced H.R. 5052 in the U.S. House. Representative Jeff Miller (R-FL) is an original cosponsor of the House bill. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate, S2587.

Since 1990, the United States has generally banned the importation of African elephant ivory, without government approval; however, it has been legal to sell and trade ivory already in the United States. In a vast overreach of authority, the Obama Administration has now begun a series of executive actions aimed at banning the sale of all ivory unless the owner can prove with significant documentation that the ivory was imported prior to the importation ban.  To date, the Administration has failed to explain what documentation would suffice, even though documentation rarely, if ever, exists. As a result, scores of law-abiding Americans’ possessions containing ivory, including firearms, jewelry, fine furniture, watches, and a variety of other objects, will become valueless.

"While the goal of restricting illegal commerce in endangered species is laudable, the effects of the ivory ban would be disastrous for American firearms owners and sportsmen, as well as anyone else who currently owns ivory. This means that shotguns that have an ivory bead or inlay, handguns with ivory grips, or even cleaning tools containing ivory, would be illegal to sell," noted Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "The irony is that this proposed ban would do virtually nothing to protect elephants, but could instead make law-abiding Americans potential criminals overnight."

"On behalf of the NRA's five million members, we would like to thank Representatives Steve Daines and Jeff Miller and Senator Lamar Alexander for their leadership on this issue and for introducing this legislation," concluded Cox.