Libertarian (or classical liberal) law professor Richard Epstein's column this week is about the Obama administration's proposed regulations effectively banning the sale or shipment across state lines of items containing any amount of ivory — even a used piano or a chess set:
One particular galling maneuver shows the Catch-22 nature of the proposed restrictions. As is commonly the case, the government requires individual owners to prove that any object that contains even a sliver of ivory comports with government regulations. The proposed regulations appear to require that a piano owner show, for example, that the ivory found in its keys, some of which may be replacements, came in through one of 13 ports that were licensed to receive goods made of ivory.
But these ports did not keep the needed records until 1982. Consequently, the needed proof will be available only in highly exceptional cases. The result is a de facto ban against resale.