- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California lawmakers are seeking to close a loophole in the state’s ban on importing, buying or selling elephant ivory or rhinoceros horn that allows old ivory to be sold.

AB96 by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins ends the exemption for selling ivory imported before 1977 and imposes civil and criminal penalties for ivory sales.

The San Diego Democrat says California is a top market for ivory and could significantly reduce demand.

A first offense involving small amounts could bring 30 days in jail and a $10,000 fine. More valuable ivory could bring a year in jail and a $40,000 fine.

Her bill also allows civil penalties up to $10,000. It would take effect in July 2016.

It passed the Assembly Tuesday on a 53-12 vote and goes to the Senate.

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