A Call To Action
There are a couple of items that I recently became aware of which could seriously impact all of us who deal and dabble in antiques, collectibles and vintage wares. I am asking for your help to see that these wrongs are righted and that our voices are heard loud and clear.
While on my recent excursion, you will hear more about that shortly, I picked up one of those free publications that advertises area antique shops “The Busy Bee Trader”. I came across an article that blew my skirt over my head.
Riley Bright and his wife Linda have owned Bright's Antique World in Franklin, Ky for ten years. For ten years they have sold a variety of animal mounts all of which are professionally taxidermied and manufactured or crafted by licensed professionals. Not one of the mounts that they have sold or currently have for sale is an endangered or protected animal.
The Bright's business was raided this past February by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife for illegally selling 'protected' wildlife. They were charged with 31 felony counts under a law written in 1942. So far this has cost Mr. Bright $2,000 and the case has been deferred for 24 months. Please read the full article.
I felt compelled to call Mr. Bright to hear the story firsthand and he assured me that the mounts they sell are no different than those you find in any antique shop or flea market around the country. The Ky. 1942 law says nothing about selling or transporting animal mounts that are not on the protected or endangered species list.
The manner in which this law is being interpreted does not affect only businesses it impacts anyone who owns an animal mount whether it is Grandpa's trophy fish or your Dad's prize buck. Under this interpretation you cannot take the piece across state lines if you are moving or sell it if downsizing. You would have to donate it or burn it.
The Brights are asking for our help. They have a petition in their shop and one online that we all need to sign to show our support. Here is the online petition.
Issue number two that we really need to keep an eye on is a matter that the Supreme Court is now deliberating. The Supreme Court is considering a case that may make it illegal to resell items that were not made in the United States. The hoopla is over copyright issues and a 1908 law. The New York Court of Appeals upheld the law and the case brought before them and now it is in the hands of the Supreme Court. Some time ago a young man found that he could purchase text books he needed cheaper in India so he started buying in bulk in reselling the books on a popular Internet auction website. The publisher of the book became very upset and brought a lawsuit based on an outdated law that was still on the books.
If the Supreme Court upholds the Court of Appeals decision it would have a far reaching impact on reselling used text books, charity thrift stores, car dealers, antique dealers, consignment shops, flea markets, auctions, bookstores, car salvage yards and who knows what other businesses.
It is fairly complex so I am just going to post a links to the full story but I need YOU to contact your Congresspeople and let your voice be heard loud and clear. Full story on reselling items not made in America. Here is another page with more information on the issue.
A DECISION WILL BE MADE THIS WEEK!!
I appreciate your attention to these matters and would love to hear your feedback.