The I-1401 Shell Game

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Hate to say I told you so on I-1401, the so-called Washington Animal Trafficking Initiative.  But I did… Well. You know. Way back in August.

I-1401 hasn’t had a whole lot of media play. But it’s still another lib-backed idea gone doo-doo bird. The NRA-ILA tells you what most others don’t or won’t:

 The Initiative’s proponents are led by so-called animal “rights” groups and heavily funded by the co-founder of Microsoft, billionaire Paul Allen. Besides being misleading, I-1401 will punish law-abiding citizens who collect ordinary items, including antiques, artwork, jewelry, knives, firearms and accessories, furniture and many other lawfully owned and obtained items that contain ivory or any other “covered animal” part or product. Even worse, this proposed law contains no indication on how the prohibitions will curb illegal animal poaching and the trade in protected animal products outside of the United States. (Emphasis added.)

Federal law is already in place on this. Furthermore, Washington State law already protects local wildlife. It includes a prohibition on the possession of any animal product from another country where the wildlife is known to have been illegally hunted or killed.

Listening now? The NRA-ILA continues:

With few exceptions, this 16-page Initiative will ban legal transactions (sales, trades, rentals and more) if the transaction involves a product containing elephant ivory or any prohibited animal part – even if the item was legally crafted decades ago, was legally acquired, and has been legally possessed. In addition to excessive penalties, the enforcement mechanisms in the Initiative allow the government to seize and sell or donate valued personal property that contains the prohibited parts or products.

Some say I-1401 is another back-door gun grab. We’ll get to that in a minute. From the I-1401 “About” page:

I-1401 is a Washington State ballot measure that is designed to help save animals threatened with extinction. The measure would prohibit the purchase, sale, and distribution of products made from a list of 10 endangered animals being exploited to the point of potential extinction, and will be enforced by strong penalties. The animals protected by I-1401 include elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, marine turtles, pangolins, sharks and rays.

Questions: What exactly does “being exploited” mean? Who determines that? Based on what? And what the hey is “potential extinction”? Cuz frankly, that could apply to almost anything or anyone on any given day. Just ask your average straight, white, conservative, Christian male over 40.

Here’s the kicker on I-1401:

While it claims to stop the trafficking of animals threatened with extinction, Initiative 1401 will punish honest Washington citizens by making their lawful property worthless, and make “traffickers” out of those who attempt to buy or sell property containing any part of a “covered animal species.”

That bolded text, peeps? That includes your ivory-inlaid anything, including firearms. Rep. Elizabeth Scott (R-39th L.D.) recently commented:

“In case you didn’t receive this today already…this is the next big gun-grabbing effort. No exemptions for weapons; ivory handles or inlays will mean you will be the last owner of your gun; can’t give it to your child or brother or sell it. It will be destroyed.” 

That’s the end game of this misleading initiative.

Don’t be a sucker.

Vote No on I-1401.