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Old November 5, 2015, 11:57 AM   #1
cjwils
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Washington State voters do it again

This is only partly gun related, but I hope the administrators will allow it. On November 3, the voters of Washington State passed Initiative 1401 by a huge margin. It deals with trafficking of threatened animal species. The ballot measure was funded by billionaire Paul Allen. There was very little opposition. The complete text is here: http://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/...alText_784.pdf

This is of interest to gun owners, because it bans virtually any exchange of ivory grips or ivory inlays on a firearm, with very limited exceptions:

1. Apparently, if the ivory is from some animal other than an elephant, you are in the clear. See definition 73. But can you prove that? Is it possible to determine the species of origin of a piece of ivory that has been removed from its source? If someone wanted to prosecute a seller of ivory, would it be up to the prosecutor to prove elephant origin, or would the accused have to prove the opposite?

2. You are in the clear if you can document that the ivory is at least 100 years old, and if the ivory is less than 15% by volume of your gun. See section 3(2)(a). Good luck on documenting anything more than 100 years old. And how do you measure the volume of a gun? Does the volume include the empty space in the bore and chamber and the empty space inside the frame between pistol grips? If those empty spaces are part of the gun’s volume, then I am guessing that a pair if ivory pistol grips might meet the threshold of being less than 15% of the gun’s volume.

3. You cannot “sell, offer to sell, purchase, trade, barter for, or distribute” your ivory gun grips, but you can still legally leave ivory to someone in your will. See section 3(2)(c). Of course, it would be valueless to them, because they could not sell it.

4. There may be an out, but I am not sure, in section 3(2)(e), which indicates that your ivory is in the clear if it is “expressly authorized by federal law or permit.” Can anyone comment on whether that might include elephant ivory gun parts?
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Old November 5, 2015, 12:28 PM   #2
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Yes, it passed by a HUGE margin. I was a bit surprised that it was not closer. It seems that people just can't see past a feel good measure and think of all the possible impacts. Of course, they would have to actually READ the measure also in order to get a better understanding. People are just too stupid or lazy or both. They only read the single line sum of the measure on the ballot.

Quote:
Initiative Measure No. 1401 concerns trafficking of animal species threatened with extinction. This measure would make selling, purchasing, trading, or distributing certain animal species threatened with extinction, and products containing such species, a gross misdemeanor or class-C felony, with exemptions for certain types of transfers.
If this is all you are making your decision on, why would you not want to vote for this.
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Old November 5, 2015, 12:31 PM   #3
kilimanjaro
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I know an antique dealer with several ivory chess sets and numerous other pieces that are now worthless.

This initiative was dubbed the Cecil the Lion Memorial Initiative.


I wonder how an initiative to triple the new pot taxes and fund kittens and puppies for orphans would do in Washington. Seems the voters will fall for anything.
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Old November 5, 2015, 12:48 PM   #4
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Yes, very sad. Legal, self-imposed theft.

THINK, PEOPLE, THINK!

So how is one little state passing stupid laws like this going to effect the global trade of "endangered species"? I dare say WA or event the U.S. probably don't make a blip for causing a species on another continent on the other side of the world to come to extinction nor keeping it on the verge. Look to Asian countries for that title as they are the hotbed of this type of activity.

I now live in a state where I can not bring back a legally harvested animal from another country without being arrested at the airport. I guess I can cross off any elephant/lion safaris off my list of things to do in my life. Not that I had any plans to anyway, but it would be nice if that could be a shoot for the stars option.

Last edited by NINEX19; November 6, 2015 at 11:24 AM.
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Old November 5, 2015, 02:40 PM   #5
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I voted YES. Glad it passed. Anyone have a problem with banning the possession of the bald eagle parts or feathers? Same thing here.

Quote:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 77.15
RCW to read as follows:
(1) Except as authorized in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, it is unlawful for a person to sell, offer to sell, purchase, trade, barter for, or distribute any covered animal species part or product.
(2) The prohibitions set forth in subsection (1) of this section do not apply if any of the following conditions is satisfied:
(a) The covered animal species part or product is part of a bona fide antique, provided the antique status of such an antique is
established by the owner or seller thereof with historical documentation evidencing provenance and showing the antique to be not less than one hundred years old, and the covered animal species part or product is less than fifteen percent by volume of such an antique;
(b) The distribution of the covered animal species part or product is for a bona fide educational or scientific purpose, or to or from a museum;
(c) The distribution of the covered animal species part or product is to a legal beneficiary of an estate, trust, or other inheritance, upon the death of the owner of the covered animal species part or product;
(d) The covered animal species part or product is less than fifteen percent by volume of a musical instrument, including, without limitation, string instruments and bows, wind and percussion instruments, and pianos; or
(e) The intrastate sale, offer for sale, purchase, trade, barter for, or distribution of the covered animal species part or product
is expressly authorized by federal law or permit.
(3) The prohibitions set forth in subsection (1) of this section do not apply to an employee or agent of a federal, state, or local
government undertaking any law enforcement activity pursuant to federal, state, or local law or any mandatory duty required by
federal, state, or local law.
Plenty of exceptions for legit possession and trade.

Hunting struggling big game is the rich mans moral equivalent of dog fighting - a "sport" it is not. It's killing something to watch it suffer and then brag to your buddies about it. No self-respecting hunter or sportsman would be killing or wanting to possess parts of animals facing extinction. There appears to be an antique exception for minor amounts (15% total) found in inlays or grips and/or antiques from yester-year. The people like that dentist and the others that go legally poach elephants and rhinos are a blight on society and the world. More states and businesses should be banning their transport and possession to further eliminate legal trade.

I do realize this may drive up the illegal trade prices, so it's like the war on drugs. However what alternative is there? Let it continue?

This will criminalize the modern introduction and trade of these parts, eliminating or reducing their demand - at least in theory.

A "feel good" measure, perhaps. But what other option is there? Ignore the problem and let trade continue. Seems like a worse choice.

Bummer for people trading in ivory and money paws and Cheetah heads to mount. Really sucks for the perverted people who like to kill beautiful endangered Rhinos and Lions. I will lose a lot of sleep for them. Not.

Thankfully the days of hunting big game are numbered, finally, as major companies and now states are jumping on to be proactive by eliminating their legal trade, which really is just legalized poaching.

Quote:
I guess I can cross off any elephant/lion safaris off my list of things to do in my life.
And THAT is the point. Take that $30,000 and find something noble to do with it instead.

I'd like my children to be able to see these creatures in the wild before the hunters kill them all.

Last edited by leadcounsel; November 5, 2015 at 02:52 PM.
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Old November 5, 2015, 02:56 PM   #6
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I know an antique dealer with several ivory chess sets and numerous other pieces that are now worthless.
No, they aren't. Take and sell them out of state

Except bald eagles aren't threatened with extinction and neither are elephants.

Big game hunting is not some "rich guy's version of dog fighting"; learning your facts from a socialist with an agenda is not the best thing to do. Maybe if Paul was so worried about endangered species, he wouldn't have all of those mega yachts discharging all that waste that affects marine life...............

Emotional feel-good legislation is never sound practice
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Old November 5, 2015, 03:23 PM   #7
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Once again, how does a state law in WA, change any laws or behaviors of the parts of the world where this is a problem?

I am not advocating the elimination of a species. Hunters, for the most part, are the largest group of conservation advocates there are. The issue I have, is creating a class of criminals, overnight, in this relative speck of the world, over something on which we will have no impact on. We just created more jobs for L.E., lawyers, courts, prisons, etc.

What if I have a musical instrument that has 16% ivory by volume? How do I prove that ivory over 100 years old? At whose expense? What documentation is acceptable; by whom?

There already is an INTERNATIONAL ban on ivory trade (this already includes us). All this does is create criminals, expense, and punishment for the people of this state who never were nor intended to ever be criminals. This only impacts grandma's piano, grandpa's ivory handled walking stick, my great uncles chess set, and elephant foot end tables my cousin had made back in 1950 something. All these will then have no value and cause me to look over my shoulder, waiting for someone to make me a criminal. That would just leave the option of complete destruction. To whose benefit?

Quote:
Bummer for people trading in ivory and money paws and Cheetah heads to mount. Really sucks for the perverted people who like to kill beautiful endangered Rhinos and Lions
When was the last time you ran into a "pervert" in Tacoma, Seattle, Everett, Ellensburg, etc. trying to sell you monkey paws or a cheetah rug? If your answer is never, than why the laws to make grandma a criminal. If your answer is "chinatown" than the WDFW and international laws already have laws to enforce in that situation. Call them up and turn them in.

Last edited by NINEX19; November 5, 2015 at 03:42 PM.
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Old November 5, 2015, 03:45 PM   #8
leadcounsel
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There already is an INTERNATIONAL ban on ivory trade (this already includes us). All this does is create criminals, expense, and punishment for the people of this state who never were nor intended to ever be criminals. This only impacts grandma's piano, grandpa's ivory handled walking stick, my great uncles chess set, and elephant foot end tables my cousin had made back in 1950 something. All these will then have no value and cause me to look over my shoulder, waiting for someone to make me a criminal. That would just leave the option of complete destruction. To whose benefit?
As to the international ban, apparently there are enough loopholes for "people" to continue to bring back "tropies" and such. This appears to be additional states' rights measures, which I support.

As to the ANTIQUES you referenced, they'd apparently be covered and it's doubtful anyone is going to prosecute that since it's not the spirit or intent of the law. What this is designed to do is prevent folks from returning with the heads, tusks, feet, paws, skins, etc. of the listed species. Again, something I support.

Why would anyone want to own a table with elephant's feet as legs. Seems demented and disgusting. Apparently wood legs aren't good enough, so a person has to kill and elephant for table legs. As a species sometimes I wonder that we really don't deserve the wonderful earth we've been blessed with...
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Old November 5, 2015, 03:59 PM   #9
NINEX19
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it's doubtful anyone is going to prosecute that since it's not the spirit or intent of the law.
You have got to be joking.

Quote:
As to the international ban, apparently there are enough loopholes for "people" to continue to bring back "tropies" and such.
Quote:
What this is designed to do is prevent folks from returning with the heads, tusks, feet, paws, skins, etc. of the listed species.
OK, so if these people are not being caught from bringing items before and it was illegal, than how does this law make them more likely to be caught? It doesn't. That's because that is NOT what this law was about.

Endangered Species Are Already Protected
We all love elephants. This initiative doesn’t protect them. Proponents provide no evidence this ban will stop trafficking or poaching in other countries. Poaching and trafficking in poached ivory is already a felony under International and Federal laws and has been for decades. Poaching has increased because of demand in Asian markets not because of the purchase and sale of ivory from before the ban on importation into the United States. This initiative targets legally purchased, legally crafted, legally owned ivory. It targets antiques.

The “Antique Exemption” is a sham
In section 3(2)(a) of the initiative an antique is exempt only if it is more than 100 years old, is less than 15% ivory and you have all the paperwork to prove it. If this passes you could be charged with a felony and fined $14,000 for selling your grandmother’s elephant ivory necklace for $250. Chess sets, jewelry, figurines, poker chips, buttons and beads, anything more than 15% ivory would become worthless. All your investment would be gone.
This Initiative Takes Away Ordinary People’s Property
If you legally “own” something but cannot sell it or give it away do you have anything left of value? All this initiative would let you do is donate it to a museum or pass it through a will to heirs who couldn’t sell it or give it away either. Most people who have family heirlooms or collections are not billionaires. Property owned legally should continue to be legal.

This initiative does in fact target antiques. Proponents admit current law is working and seizures of illegally poached ivory are already happening at our ports. What is different about this proposal is it will criminalize dealing in legal antique ivory. The US holds the world’s second largest reserve of decades old vintage ivory. Culture changes but cultural history should not be erased. Learn from it, don’t destroy it. What is legally acquired should stay legal.

Last edited by NINEX19; November 5, 2015 at 04:58 PM.
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Old November 5, 2015, 04:21 PM   #10
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The mentality of poachers and game hunters and ivory collectors is the same. They want stuff that they shouldn't want. This is a demand-side economics issue. The demand must be eliminated through laws and education.

The demand is there because of the same 100% selfish mentality. While it sucks for the individual person (the few that it effects) on balance I don't care if someones chess set becomes worthless or has to be destroyed (which is highly unlikely). Probably shouldn't have made it like that anyway, since it's been illegal and morally wrong for many decades.

I'd prefer to have living elephants instead of a bunch of chess sets to remember them by.

Quote:
Proponents provide no evidence this ban will stop trafficking or poaching in other countries. Poaching and trafficking in poached ivory is already a felony under International and Federal laws and has been for decades.
So, what study would satisfy you, and how many decades will that study take. Elephants, rhinos, lions, great apes, etc. are in critically dangerous low levels. They don't have the luxury of a decades long study in which game hunters will continue to "harvest" thousands every year.

I'm glad that many shipping companies and organizations are taking affirmative steps to reduce this trade, and hope it continues. Many nations are imposing at least temporary bans on this trade, and huge shipments are being confiscated in Asia - representing thousands of protected animals. The penalties must increase for poaching, hunting, and possessing items if we hope that these creatures will endure.

Hunters (legal and illegal, which there is a gray line since the only difference is who profits) are totally responsible for the erradication of many species, including the 80-95% destruction of many current species like I mentioned in just the last few decades. And why? To satisfy some corrupted mentality lust for pretty ivory or money paws or magical rhino horns. Disgusting.

Last edited by leadcounsel; November 5, 2015 at 04:28 PM.
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Old November 5, 2015, 04:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Why would anyone want to own a table with elephant's feet as legs. Seems demented and disgusting.
Be careful with your emotions because with a click here and there, your quote becomes

Quote:
Why would anyone want to own a Handgun or semiautomatic rifle. Seems demented and disgusting.
Just because YOU have an issue with something, does not give you the right to take a legal pursuit away from someone else.

BTW the international ban on ivory is for selling it, not bringing back a trophy taken legally.
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Old November 5, 2015, 05:09 PM   #12
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Leadcounsel, your attitude about hunters reminds me of Hillary Clinton's attitude about gun owners. You are so sure that you are right and the other guys are stupid neanderthals, that you make no effort to find any common ground. There may be common ground, but no one will bother to seek it if the discussion is immediately hostile.
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Old November 5, 2015, 05:13 PM   #13
leadcounsel
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The 2A is not about hunting, as we all know. The 2A protects guns for self and state defense.

Many laws are designed to prohibit possession of socially damaging and unacceptable behavior, like child explicit photos (since the actual words are censored) or bald eagle feathers, etc.
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Old November 5, 2015, 05:27 PM   #14
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How does one
Quote:
legally poach
ANYTHING?????

Quote:
Take that $30,000 and find something noble to do with it instead.
something noble like NOT spending it in Africa??

I realize that elephants, rhino and others are listed as endangered, but there is endangered as a listing and endangered as a fact, and the two are not always totally congruent.

The African governments, who have the legal authority to sell these animals are doing just that. It is one of their natural resources, AND it is a renewable resource.

Absolutely, poaching is a horrendous crime, morally repugnant. African game managers are generally happy to shoot poachers and I understand most would prefer to shoot poachers rather than elephants.

But they have to shoot elephants, too. Do a little looking and you see that many, many times MORE elephants are shot by game mangers than by trophy hunters.

This is a necessary act, to preserve the overall elephant population. They HAVE to crop the herds, otherwise all will sicken and most die when they have overgrazed the feed supply.

Personally, I think it better for everyone to allow controlled hunting, and the fees (huge fees) it brings for animals that are going to have to be killed, anyway. And don't even think that photo safaris are going to replace that income. Nobody is going to pay $5000 for a permit to take a PICTURE of an elephant.

Quote:
The mentality of poachers and game hunters and ivory collectors is the same
That is a very broad brush, and I disagree strongly. Game hunters obey game laws, and do NOT deserve to be compared to thieving scum commonly called poachers. Because that is what ivory poachers are, thieves.

Lumping everyone together with the bad apples and then saying they are all bad because of that is morally bankrupt as an argument. It is the tactic of choice of the anti-gun crowd, and about everyone else who wants to ban something that someone else legally enjoys.

Even a lawyer should recognize that... (deliberate sarcasm)
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Old November 5, 2015, 06:07 PM   #15
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It's killing something to watch it suffer and then brag to your buddies about it.
How can it suffer if it is dead? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?
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Old November 5, 2015, 07:05 PM   #16
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My Original Post included several specific questions about how the new Washington State law would affect existing ivory on guns. I am still hoping that someone will address those questions.
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Old November 5, 2015, 07:23 PM   #17
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Can someone explain in layman's terms about the ivory and such. It seems to me that some people are unwitting criminals as explained here. Is it any product made from the remains of one of these animals in question.

The 100 year grandfathering and 15% doesn't seem so generous. I don't knowingly posses such items but knife and straight razor scales could go beyond 15% easily.
What if I pick up a what-not at a thrift store made from the bones of some African animal without knowing it?

I'm not a fan of African trophy hunting, but this one seems scary to me
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Old November 5, 2015, 08:25 PM   #18
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I legally bought a carved ivory fan in Hong Kong in 1950 and legally brought it back here to the US. 65 years old. And now the Washington state government says it's evil because it's too young? I'm somehow bad-nasty for owning it?

Strikes me as shameful that people substitute emotional opinion for rational thought.
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Old November 5, 2015, 08:37 PM   #19
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Hunting struggling big game is the rich mans moral equivalent of dog fighting - a "sport" it is not. It's killing something to watch it suffer and then brag to your buddies about it. No self-respecting hunter or sportsman would be killing or wanting to possess parts of animals facing extinction. There appears to be an antique exception for minor amounts (15% total) found in inlays or grips and/or antiques from yester-year. The people like that dentist and the others that go legally poach elephants and rhinos are a blight on society and the world. More states and businesses should be banning their transport and possession to further eliminate legal trade.
leadcousnel, you are imposing your personal ethics by force, lethal force if necessary, on others in your state...... To me, it smells strongly of "Guns are icky, nobody should have one........" You have made my ignore list, and permanently. Hello, Hypocrisy .......Bye, leadcounsel.
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Old November 5, 2015, 11:03 PM   #20
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The 100 year grandfathering and 15% doesn't seem so generous.
Generous is not a word I think the drafters had in mind. A sop, a tiny loophole seems more likely.

The only remotely good thing I can say is that 100 years old it at least a (slowly) moving target.

So how does 100 years become the magic number? Not 80, not 120, not 40, which I believe applies to cars and such...

And it also seems there is a presumption of guilt built in. PROVE it is 100 years old??? Prove it isn't!!!

And 15%??? well that may allow you inlays or a sight bead, but what about those few who actually have ivory grips??

This is another case of the low information voters (despite education and income levels) passing a measure based on its TITLE and sound bites of what it would do, NOT on what the actual law states!
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Old November 5, 2015, 11:15 PM   #21
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This is another case of the low information voters (despite education and income levels) passing a measure based on its TITLE and sound bites of what it would do, NOT on what the actual law states!
Careful with the personal attacks on the intelligence of the group that is NOT responsible for the plight of the elephants, rhinos, big cats, big apes, etc.

I know exactly what the law means. Stop trading in the animal parts of endangered animals. Stop lusting after stuff that represents the last of the XYZ animals. If that means you have to use wood or plastic instead of ivory, then so be it... this is 2015, not 1710. We are a more enlightened culture that overwhelmingly frowns on using ivory and similar animal parts for stuff.

Again, anyone here think it's okay to shoot bald eagles? So far nobody has tackled that one.

And, as a reminder, your "rights" to guns has nothing to do with ivory grips and killing rhinos. I fully support the former, and do not support the latter whatsoever.

Society picks and chooses what is socially acceptable all the time. The time for killing the last remaining species has come to an end. It's no longer socially acceptable and becoming more and more unpopular every day.

From a gun ownership standpoint, I'm also glad. These big gamer "hunters" are a black eye on legit hunting and gun ownership. I'll be glad when these hunts are a thing of the past .

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Old November 5, 2015, 11:29 PM   #22
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It's PC BS, writ large, and now codified in Law.

Liberty Weeps.
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Old November 6, 2015, 02:20 AM   #23
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My objection is not with the principle of not harvesting endangered species for sport, my objection is the details of the law, and how it can be misapplied.

No, I don't think its right to shoot bald eagles, I also don't think its right to prosecute someone who picks up a bald eagle feather off the ground and puts it in a dreamcatcher.

The law COULD have been written to have the intended effect, without putting innocent people at risk of prosecution, or robbing them of the value of property legally obtained and held, but it was not written that way.

THAT is what I object to.
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Old November 6, 2015, 03:50 AM   #24
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leadcouncil....you also seem to ignore the federal treaty implications with a state meddling with legal products from tribal members that have a legal right to sell ivory products to the public.
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Old November 6, 2015, 09:59 AM   #25
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One problem in all this is that the elephant is not endangered. While poaching is a serious problem in some countries because of governmental ineptitude, they need to do the occasional culling of cow elephants in South Africa because of habitat destruction from over-populations in some areas.

Two things are needed in maintenance of populations of wildlife species: First is control by knowledgeable wildlife biologists as to seasons and limits, and second is the funding to combat poaching. Where such methodology is in place, legal hunters have no negative impact on wildlife populations.

Note that where local African villagers share in the money from high fees to hunt elephants, they have a vested interest in fighting poaching--at no cost to the government. Where hunting is outlawed, the poachers reign supreme.

The Washington law is the sort of thinking which enables poaching.
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