Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown signs ban on ivory, rhinoceros horn sales

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill extending an existing prohibition on the sale of elephant parts in California to items imported before 1977, while adding protection for rhinoceroses.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill extending an existing prohibition on the sale of elephant parts in California to items imported before 1977, while adding protection for rhinoceroses. The Associated Press

In an effort to choke off the market for ivory and rhinoceros horns in California, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation banning their sale, his office said Sunday.

The bill, supported by nearly every Democrat in the Legislature, extends an existing prohibition on the sale of elephant parts to items imported before 1977, while adding a protection for rhinoceroses.

California already outlaws ivory sales, but proponents of Assembly Bill 96 said an exemption for older items – the age of which can be difficult to determine – has undercut enforcement.

Brown, a fourth-term Democrat, signed the bill without comment.

The measure was supported by animal rights activists, who said market restrictions in the nation’s most populous state could help protect elephants and rhinoceroses from poaching.

The bill’s author, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said on Twitter that Brown’s signature was a “victory for wildlife.”

The National Rifle Association and California Rifle and Pistol Association opposed the measure, saying it would harm collectors and other gun owners who own firearms made with ivory.

The law makes an exception for some ivory that is part of older musical instruments or antiques at least 100 years old.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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