NRA Opposes the US Ivory Ban

NRA Opposes the US Ivory Ban

Shocking news this week: the NRA (National Rifle Association) asked 3.1million members to call on congress to urge them to block the new ivory ban ruling.

Last month, the White House announced a ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory, placed a total embargo on any new imports of items containing elephant ivory, and now prohibits the export of any ivory except antiques more than 100 years old. (Click HERE for a short explanation on exactly what this ivory ban entails and means).

“This ban is the best way to help ensure that U.S. markets do not contribute to the further decline of African elephants in the wild,” a White House fact sheet on the announcement declared.

However, the NRA feels that the White House is not creating this ban to protect the world’s elephant populations (oh - did we mention that last year in 2013, over 50,000 elephants were killed for their tusks? At this rate, all elephants in the wild will be extinct within ten years…) Instead, the NRA believes that this ban on ivory is actually the Administration attempting to ban firearms (yes, you read that right, they think the ivory ban in the US is an attack on the constitutional right to bear arms.) Here is their reasoning:

“This is another attempt by this anti-gun Administration to ban firearms based on cosmetics and would render many collections/firearms valueless,” the NRA said in its call to arms. “Any firearm, firearm accessory, or knife that contains ivory, no matter how big or small, would not be able to be sold in the United States, unless it is more than 100 years old. This means if your shotgun has an ivory bead or inlay, your revolver or pistol has ivory grips, your knife has an ivory handle, or if your firearm accessories, such as cleaning tools that contain any ivory, the item would be illegal to sell.”

Our response? This is outrageous and ridiculous! The NRA is so self-absorbed that they are opposing a ban that protects the future for Africa’s keystone species, so they can sell their guns!!!??! They are opposing a ban that is part of a national security issue as the ivory trade, according to Robert Hormat (under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and Environment), funds Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (note: their activities include and are not limited to: child abduction, child sex slavery and using children for warfare) — and this is just one of the known terrorist organizations that benefit from the ivory trade. There must be no legal ivory trade to make it easier for law enforcement to quickly find and prosecute those engaged in the illegal ivory trade.

Please take a moment to ask the White House to stand firm in their decision for an ivory ban - for the future of elephants and the safety of humankind. Leave your comments here:

(Thanks to ThinkProgress.Org for the information we shared in this post)

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  1. David Michaels

    By devaluing antique works of art how are we saving elephants exactly? Have you even read this law? They are allowing TWO ELEPHANTS KILLED PER PERSON PER YEAR!!!!
    Yet they are outlawing sale and import of Antique works of art that is collected in Major museums around the World. Instead of going after killers of Elephants in Africa and dealing with Illegal factories in China they want to go after honest antique collectors and dealers that is absolutely Ridiculous if you ask me.

    1. elephantopia

      We hope you were able to read the IFAW article explaining the law (we linked it above, very helpful). We are frustrated that hunters can still kill two elephants a year, but it’s a step in the right direction as before this law, they could kill however many they wanted.

      Selling any sort of ivory only increases the demand for it, so we are happy to see the new limitations on importing in new ivory and selling new ivory. Every piece of “art” represents a dead elephant. We do strongly believe only elephants should wear ivory.

      An easy way to sum up the ivory laws regarding the selling/buying of ivory is:
      First, the rules do not make it illegal to own or inherit ivory.
      Second, if you can’t prove it’s old, it is no longer legal to buy or sell a piece of ivory in the US.

      1. Bob

        I really don’t see how selling something increases demand. If that were the case companies would not have to advertise. You make no sense.

        As for the number of elephants that a hunter may kill, again you speak nonsense. He is limited by the number of permits he may get from a foreign country and that has zero to do with the US. The limit is on how any tusks he may import, not how many he can kill. I am afraid you have zero idea what you are talking about.

        Further, it is not only the nra, but also antique collectors, dealers, and curators oppose the ban.

    1. elephantopia

      Reports from the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London last month stated that in 2013, 50,000 elephants were killed for their ivory across the continent of Africa. ( The basic economics of supply & demand have shown that the more ivory on the markets (from one off sales allowed by CITES in 1998 and 2008) has increased the demand (

      You obviously are not in favor of the ivory ban nor do you take the elephant crisis seriously. We kindly as you to not solicit your views here. Thank you.

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