WASHINGTON, D.C., July 29 — Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) made the following statements today on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed rule to regulate domestic ivory trade:
“I’m pleased that the proposed rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service more clearly focuses on addressing the real threat of poachers and those who are violating our laws,” Daines stated. “While this proposed rule appears to mitigate some of the concerns from law-abiding citizens who would have been penalized for owning items containing lawful ivory, I will continue to carefully inspect this rule to ensure it does not implement any further burdens on Americans who own antique firearms, musical instruments and other family heirlooms and antiques that contain ivory.”
“The proposed rule seems to address some of the concerns surrounding legal firearms, musical instruments and antiques that contain ivory,” Alexander said. “In reviewing the rule, I want to see how realistic it is for gun owners, musicians or antique dealers to prove that their firearm, musical instrument or antique complies with the proposed rule.”
Already federal law restricts the trade of African Elephant ivory. There has been a prohibition on the importation of African Elephant ivory since 1990. Additionally, for a product manufactured in the United States, the African Elephant ivory must have been removed from the wild prior to 1976.
There will be a 60-day comment period before a final rule is issued.
Earlier this month, Daines introduced and Alexander cosponsored the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015 to prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from unilaterally implementing a ban on the importation, exportation, or interstate sale of lawfully possessed ivory. Alexander introduced in the last Congress legislation that would have prohibited the administration from implementing its plan and would have prohibited the Fish and Wildlife Service from implementing any new rule, order, or standard that wasn’t in place prior to Feb. 25, 2014.