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A Pair of Court Cases with Implications for Antique Dealers and Resellers

by Michelle Staley (10/30/12).

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is raiding businesses for illegally selling “protected” wildlife counts under a law written in 1942. The prosecution of these felony counts could make the selling of taxidermied mounts a dangerous proposition.

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 to Georgia (you will read more about that soon), 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 10 years. During that time, 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. You can read the full article here.

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 1942 Kentucky 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 only affects 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. To sign the petition, please click here.

The manner in which this law is being interpreted does not only affects 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.

And, while we’re at it, another issue 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.

The issues are fairly complex, so I am just going to post a link to the full story, but I need you to contact your U.S. Representatives and let your voice be heard loud and clear. Here is another page with more information on the issue. As I understand it, a decision will be made this week. I appreciate your attention to these matters

Michelle Staley, who insists that collectors are the happiest people, is an antique collector and dealer. Her shop, My Granny’s Attic Antiques, Collectibles and Memorabilia, is in Lenexa, Kansas.

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5 Responses to “A Pair of Court Cases with Implications for Antique Dealers and Resellers”

  1. One thing that I forgot to mention in the article is that all of the dealers in Bright’s Antique Mall who were selling animal/fish mounts and deer antlers were served with ‘warrants’.

  2. John Spencer says:

    If the animals they possess are not on the protected list then it doesnt matter how the law is interpreted. No law has been broken,hence no case!! Example: I am driving down the road and I get pulled over,in the back seat is a bag of alfalpha that the officer thinks is marijuana,unfortunately I get arrested but once the bag of green stuff is tested there is no case! If the animals are truly not on a protected list then what is the problem,what am I missing here?

    • John says:

      You are missing that “they” (big government, New World Order, UN) do not want you selling anything that they are not manufacturing new. They are taking over bit by bit piece by piece. They do not care is the law applies as long as they own the judges. One day you will wake up and it will all be over.

    • That my dear is the question. If no law was broken how can this happen? It has and it has caused the shop owners a lot of money and grief.

      That is the point of me bringing this to the attention of those who have taken the time to read this article. Sign their petition and hopefully with the outrage and voice of the public the shop owners can put this behind them.

      I have put a call in to the Director of the KY Dept of Wildlife but have yet to talk to them.

  3. James A Dunn says:

    I have a Honda 90 – !986- Motorbike Model CT90 155929 Engine CT90E 156356 3977 miles

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