Proposed tighter restrictions on the sale of ivory have prompted some unusual alliances.
While the importation of ivory has been essentially banned for decades, until now the federal policy was to assume most ivory already here is legal, and thus its sale wouldn’t increase poaching. New rules currently proposed would revoke this policy, making it illegal to sell any firearm or other item less than 100 years old containing any amount of ivory—for older items, sellers must prove it’s an antique.
Antiques dealers have joined gun owners and dealers in opposing the new rules. Even musicians are speaking out, claiming they could make it impossible to move pianos with ivory keys across state lines.
Stopping poaching is a laudable goal. But onerous restrictions that could potentially turn American owners of pianos, firearms, jewelry and other legal items into criminals overnight—yet do nothing to stop poachers—will almost certainly do more harm than good.