MENU

UPDATED 06/20/2019: With regards to ivory and animal parts, the following summary is in reference to “modern” knives and their accouterments (a sheath, display stand, etc.).  There are some “antique” exceptions for knives in excess of 100 years old for some of these bans. There are also some other narrow exceptions (“restrictions” noted below) to these bans. These restrictions can be reviewed at the “State Law” links provided below. With regards possession or inheritance, generally, any knives or other possessions already owned at time of passage are generally grandfathered, but some states require registration in order to take advantage of that exception and typically there is a time limit in which that must be accomplished.

The following is not legal advice. Knife Rights cannot provide legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice. Knife Rights does not claim or warrant that this is a complete listing of ivory and animal parts bans in the U.S.

Note that in regards to bans or restrictions on fossil “Mammoth” ivory, in the opinion of our legal advisors this also includes fossil “Mastadon” ivory even if not specifically named in the statute and both “tooth” and “tusk” are included.

Trade across state lines in knives with Elephant ivory is illegal unless it meets the criteria outlined at:  https://kniferights.org/legislative-update/federal-ivory-ban-rule-goes-into-effect-july-6-2016/

International trade in Elephant ivory is illegal.  International trade of mammoth ivory is legal, BUT, federal officials are aggressively enforcing ivory rules and may demand clear documentation that the ivory is mammoth ivory, especially if it is interior fossil ivory.

What is Illegal or restricted in Which States (below is list of states with what is illegal by state)

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory is illegal in CA, HI, IL, NJ, NY, OR and WA

Trade in raw Elephant ivory is illegal in CA, HI, IL, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OR and WA

Trade in knives with Walrus ivory or raw walrus ivory is illegal in IL.

Trade in knives with Walrus ivory or fossil Walrus ivory is illegal in CA and HI.

Trade in raw Walrus ivory or fossil Walrus ivory is illegal in CA, HI and NV.

Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory is illegal in CA, HI, IL, NJ and NY

Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory is illegal in CA, HI, IL, NJ, NV and NY

Trade in knives with Elephant, Walrus or Mammoth ivory is restricted in NV

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory is restricted in NH

Trade in knives with ivory of any kind and fossil animal parts is specifically exempted in CT, BUT trade in “big six African” animal parts is prohibited (African elephant, African lion, African leopard, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros and African giraffe), so a knife with Giraffe bone handle or a sheath made of African Elephant hide would be illegal.

By State – What is Illegal or Restricted

California – Illegal:

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory
Trade in knives with Walrus ivory
Trade in raw Walrus ivory
Trade in knives with fossil Walrus ivory
Trade in raw fossil Walrus ivory
Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory

Connecticut – Illegal

Trade in “big six African” animal parts is prohibited (African elephant, African lion, African leopard, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros and African giraffe), so a knife with Giraffe bone or a sheath made of African Elephant hide would be illegal. Knives with ivory of any kind and fossil animal parts is specifically exempted.

Hawaii – Illegal:

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory is illegal
Trade in knives with Walrus ivory
Trade in raw Walrus ivory
Trade in knives with fossil Walrus ivory
Trade in raw fossil Walrus ivory
Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory

Illinois – Illegal:

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory
Trade in knives with Walrus ivory
Trade in raw Walrus ivory
Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory

Nevada – Restricted (refer to law link below)

Trade in knives with Elephant, Walrus or fossil “Mammoth” ivory

New Hampshire – Restricted (refer to law link below)

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory

New Jersey – Illegal

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory is illegal
Trade in raw Elephant ivory is illegal
Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory

New York – Illegal

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory
Trade in knives with fossil “Mammoth” ivory
Trade in raw fossil “Mammoth” ivory

Oregon – Illegal

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory

Washington – Illegal

Trade in knives with Elephant ivory
Trade in raw Elephant ivory

The State Laws:

CA: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billCompareClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB96
CT: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/ACT/PA/PDF/2021PA-00052-R00SB-00925-PA.PDF
HI: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2647_HD2_.pdf
IL: https://legiscan.com/IL/text/HB4843/id/1816090/Illinois-2017-HB4843-Chaptered.html
NH: https://legiscan.com/NH/text/SB451/id/1664552
NJ: http://codes.findlaw.com/nj/title-23-fish-and-game-wild-birds-and-animals/nj-st-sect-23-2a-13-3.html
NY: http://codes.findlaw.com/ny/environmental-conservation-law/env-sect-11-0535-a.html
NV: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/79th2017/Bill/5060/Text
OR: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/498.022
WA: https://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/FinalText_784.pdf