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Knife Rights Notable Recent Successes

  • Congress Amends Federal Switchblade Act
    to Protect Assisted and One-Hand Openers
    - Read More...
  • Arizona, Utah, New Hampshire, Georgia, Kansas, Alaska, Tennessee, Oklahoma & Texas Knife Preemption Laws Enacted
    National Knife Law Preemption Campaign Rolls On
  • New Hampshire, Maine, Missouri, Kansas, Alaska, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee & Nevada Knife Rights Bills
    Legalize Automatics (Switchblades) and other banned knives
  • Washington Knife Rights Bill
    Legalizes Assisted-Openers & Allows Manufacture of Automatics

  • Knife Rights is the Second Front
    in Defense of the Second Amendment™
    JOIN KNIFE RIGHTS TODAY!

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Knife Rights Maryland Knife Law Preemption Bill Introduced

February 10, 2016: At the request of Knife Rights, a bipartisan Maryland Knife Law Preemption bill, SB 653, has been introduced by Senators Wayne Norman and John Astle. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. We will let you know when it's time to contact committee members on this bill.

Last year's tragic Freddie Gray arrest highlighted the kind of problems that arise without preemption. Under Maryland law, Freddie Gray's assisted-opening knife was clearly not a switchblade by standard legal definitions. Even if it was, switchblades are legal to open carry in Maryland and from the arresting officer's account the knife and clip were clearly visible. However, Baltimore has both a complete prohibition of "switch-blade knives" and a unique and unusual definition of a switchblade that might conceivably include Gray's assisted-opening knife, although we would contend that it does not. In any case, if knife law preemption had been the law in Maryland, then only state law would count and there clearly would have been no knife law violation upon which to arrest Gray. (Click for more details on the Freddie Gray knife, his arrest on the switchblade charge and Baltimore's switchblade law.)

Read More >>>>
 
Knife Rights' Wisconsin Knife Law Reform Signed by Governor

February 8, 2016: Knife Rights' Wisconsin Knife Law Reform Bill including Knife Law Preemption, AB 142, was signed on February 6th by Governor Scott Walker. Wisconsin is the eleventh state in which Knife Rights has repealed a switchblade ban and the ninth in which we have passed Knife Law Preemption. The new law was enacted when it was officially published on February 7, 2016.

The signing ceremony was held during the annual meeting of Wisconsin FORCE, the state NRA affiliate. Wisconsin FORCE and Executive Director Jeff Nass played a critical role in passage of the bill and Knife Rights is appreciative of their support for our efforts to forge a Sharper Future for all Americans.

At the signing, Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter presented Governor Walker with a Pro-Tech TR-4 automatic (switchblade) knife specially engraved with the state seal and his name and dedication during the signing ceremony (photo after the break).

Read More >>>>
 
Knife Rights Aims to Finish Ridding Oklahoma of Knife Restrictions

January 29, 2016: Knife Rights' Oklahoma Knife Law Reform bill, SB 1159, was introduced by Senator Nathan Dahm. SB 1159 will finish the job Knife Rights started last year by removing dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife and sword cane from the items prohibited from carry in Oklahoma. Last year Knife Rights repealed the ban on carrying switchblade (automatic) knives and passed Knife Law Preemption in Oklahoma.

With Knife Law Preemption already the law in Oklahoma, if we succeed in getting SB 1159 enacted, it will automatically be the law throughout the state.

Read More >>>>
 
Kentucky Preemption and Knife Ban Repeal Bill Introduced

January 24, 2016: Kentucky state Senator Robin Webb has introduced a Knife Law Preemption nd Knife Ban Repeal bill, S 112. This bill is the result of months of work by Knife Rights and Senator Webb and her staff. To accomplish Knife Law Preemption, the bill simply adds knives to the existing proven Kentucky firearms preemption statute.

The bill will also remove "any knife other than an ordinary pocket knife or hunting knife" from Kentucky's definition of a "Deadly Weapon" which limits concealed carry to CCW holders. That phrase, "ordinary pocket knife or hunting knife," has been, and could in the future be, subject to abuse from adverse interpretations by law enforcement, prosecutors and judges. In a 2003 appeals court decision (Stout v. Commonwealth), the judge held that a 5-inch "locked-blade" folding knife was NOT an "ordinary pocket knife," even though the vast majority of pocket knives sold then and now have locking blades and knives with blades 5-inches and longer are not unusual.

Read More >>>>
 
New York Bills Introduced to Stop NYC Gravity Knife Arrests

January 24, 2016: Two companion bills, A 9042 and S 6483, have been introduced in New York that would add bias-towards closure language to the state switchblade and gravity knife definitions, sponsored by Assemblyman Dan Quart and Senator Diane Savino. The bills clarify the definition of "Switchblade" and "Gravity Knife" by adding the exception, "does not include a knife that has a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist, or arm to overcome the bias toward closure and open the knife."

These new bills, developed with Knife Rights' input, are a more comprehensive solution, incorporating the language that was passed by Congress in 2009, with Knife Rights' support, amending the Federal Switchblade Act to prevent U.S. Customs from redefining switchblades to include one-hand opening and assisted-opening knives. Last year and the year before, Assemblyman Quart's bills were passed by the Democratic controlled Assembly, but were not acted upon by the Republican controlled Senate. Those bills simply added a "criminal intent" requirement, but didn't change the definitions.

New York City's Village Voice newspaper found that over 60,000 people have been prosecuted for carrying common pocket knives in the city. Knife Rights' civil rights lawsuit challenging these bogus arrests and prosecutions is scheduled for trial on April 29 after the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously reversed the District Court's erroneous dismissal of the case on procedural "standing" grounds.

Read More >>>>
 
New Jersey Governor Christie Vetoes Two Draconian Bills!

January 19, 2016: Two draconian bills that would have dramatically harmed knifemakers and knife owners were vetoed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on January 19. The two closely related bills, S3146/A3773 and S3416/A4808, would have outlawed, with extraordinarily tough civil and felony criminal penalties, mere possession or transportation via New Jersey of parts or products from over 1,200 species of threatened and endangered species. Elephant, stingray, gator, mollusks (mother of pearl) and many other species whose parts have traditionally been used by knifemakers would have been included, putting makers and collectors in legal jeopardy. Knife Rights worked tirelessly for months to lead the opposition to these bills with our good friends at the Elephant Protection Association and with support from a number of hunting organizations.

While testimony and position papers were provided at legislative hearings, resulting in the bills being amended down from over 12,000 species to 1,200 species (see below), there was never any question that these still appalling bills would pass the Democratic controlled New Jersey legislature where freedom and common sense go to die. Our only hope for defeating these bills was that Governor Christie would recognize them for the terrible bills they were, both for New Jersey and its citizens, and for the country as a whole. Our legislative lobbying efforts set the stage for Governor Christie's veto, with most Republican legislators voting "no" or abstaining.

Knife Rights is also grateful to numerous friends and organization leaders from around the country who participated in the effort to defeat these outrageous and draconian measures. As a result of the team effort, New Jersey will not become the poster child for the nation's most radical anti-hunting advocates who would have dealt a serious blow to law-abiding knifemakers and knife owners as collateral damage.

Click here to read our position papers opposing S3146/A3773 and S3416/A4808.

Read More >>>>
 
Wisconsin Appeals Court Upholds Second Amendment Argument in Switchblade Possession Case

Knives and the Second AmendmentNovember 25, 2015: Applying the Second Amendment to knives as arms and the groundbreaking Heller U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision that it was illegal for someone to possess a switchblade (automatic) knife in their home. The court concluded that the Second Amendment protects knives as well as guns, one of Knife Rights' foundational principles.

You can read the court's decision here: http://www.wicourts.gov/ca/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=155961

As such, this decision, albeit narrow as was required by Wisconsin law, held that at least with regards to switchblades at home, Wisconsin's ban is unconstitutional. Knife Rights believes such bans are entirely unconstitutional. Having said that, Knife Rights Wisconsin Knife Law Reform bill, AB 142, would remove this prohibition altogether, as well as enact Knife Law Preemption, resolving the issue entirely. AB 142 has passed the House and awaits a vote in the Senate.

The case arose when Cory Herrmann, the defendant, was injured in his home. Showing his switchblade knife to a friend, Herrmann dropped the knife and cut his femoral artery. After 911 was called, officers responding to the scene seized the switchblade and subsequently Herrmann was charged with illegal possession.

Read More >>>>
 
Appeals Court Victory in Knife Rights' Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against New York City

Sept. 22, 2015: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously ruled today that Knife Rights' Federal civil rights lawsuit against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. will proceed, reversing a District Court's erroneous dismissal of the case on procedural "standing" grounds. You can review the Second Circuit's decision at: http://www.kniferights.org/KRvNYC_Second_Circuit_Opinion.pdf

The Second Circuit ruled that Knife Rights' plaintiffs John Copeland, Pedro Perez, and Native Leather have the right to pursue their claims to end the unconstitutional manner in which the City and the DA have enforced state gravity knife law against honest individuals and businesses with regard to common folding knives.

Read More >>>>
 
Knife Rights Submits Comment Opposing Federal Ivory Ban - Still Plenty You Can Do To Help Stop Ban

Sept. 29, 2015: Knife Rights' comment opposing the irrational and abusive federal Ivory Ban was submitted yesterday. Click here to read the comment with its attachments. Thanks to everyone who submitted a comment to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opposing the Ivory Ban. The Introduction and the Conclusion (Click "Read More>>>>" below) sums up the serious federal law violations and other practical issues with this proposed Ivory Ban rule.

Knife Rights abhors the poaching of all species. The proven solution is to attack poaching at the source and in the primary destinations for the illegal ivory, not punish lawful ivory owners in the U.S. who cannot have any effect on poaching in Africa. Successful anti-poaching programs in Africa have demonstrated that an integrated comprehensive approach that support law-enforcement in the field and encourages the locals to fight poaching does work to save elephants. Illegally stealing the investments of millions of Americans will not save a single elephant in Africa.

To read the Introduction and the Conclusion of Knife Rights' comment AND what YOU can do NOW to hell stop the ban, click on "Read More>>>>" below.

Read More >>>>
 
Knife Rights' Knife Owners' Protection Act Clears Critical Hurdle in U.S. Senate

Knife Rights' Knife Owners' Protection Act, S. 1315 (KOPA), passed a critical hurdle yesterday when it was voted out of the the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Passage by the Commerce Committee sets the measure up for consideration by the full Senate.  KOPA protects travelers from a patchwork of conflicting state knife laws.  

 

The result of five years of effort, Knife Rights conceived, drafted and developed the Knife Owners' Protection Act as the first proactive pro-knife federal legislation introduced in the nation's history.  The Senate version of the bill is sponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-UT) with co-sposnors Senators. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mike Lee (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Thune (R-SD) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).

 

Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter noted, "This legislation will solve a real and growing problem that faces every knife owner traveling throughout America--the threat of arrest and prosecution under misguided local laws merely for possessing knives during lawful travel."  KOPA will protect law-abiding knife owners traveling throughout the U.S. from a patchwork of restrictive state and local laws. As long as possession of the particular knife is legal where the journey starts and ends, and provided the knife is secured in accordance with KOPA, a knife owner would no longer be threatened with arrest simply for traveling from one place to another.

Read More >>>>
 
MEDIA RELEASE: President Obama Declared Freddie Gray's Knife NOT a Switchblade in 2009
May 7, 2015 - Gilbert, AZ: Freddie Gray was charged by Officer G. Miller with violating Baltimore's "Switch-blade knives" City Code which was originally passed in 1950. Freddie Gray's knife was described by the officer, under penalty of perjury, as "...found to be a spring assisted, one hand operated knife..." (link to Charging Document) In other words, the officer swore that it was a spring-assisted knife.

In response to Customs' attempt in 2009 to arbitrarily redefine what a switchblade was, Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law on October 28 2009, specific language protecting one-hand opening and spring-assisted knives from being included as switchblades under the 1958 Federal Switchblade Act.

CLICK HERE to read the full Media Release including an explanation of the difference between Spring-Assisted (Assisted-Opening) vs. Switchblade (Automatic) Knives and why Freddie Gray's knife was not a switchblade under Baltimore City Code.

 
Knife Rights LegalBlade™ App Introduced - World's First Knife Law App!

Knife Rights Foundation is pleased to announce its groundbreaking LegalBlade™ App - Knife Laws in America™. LegalBlade™ is the world's first knife law app! LegalBlade™ provides guidance at your fingertips to the knife laws of all 50 states as well as over 40 cities and local jurisdictions in the United States.

Knife Rights Founder and Chairman Doug Ritter said, "While Knife Rights will continue to aggressively work to repeal bad knife laws, knowledge of the law is the first step in avoiding an unfortunate arrest, loss of your knife or other legal complications."

The LegalBlade™ App is available now in the App Store and on Google play

Download on the App Store   Get it on Google Play

Click on "Read More >>>>" for additional details.

Read More >>>>
 
Knife Rights Urges California Supreme Court to Affirm Legality of Common Folding Knives


Stock Photo
April 14, 2015: A legal brief urging the California Supreme Court to rule that common, non-locking Swiss Army Knives and similar pocketknives are not illegal 'dirks' or 'daggers' was filed on Monday.

George M. Lee, a partner at the San Francisco law firm of Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate, wrote the "friend of the court" brief in the criminal matter of State of California v. Emmanuel Castillolopez on behalf of the civil rights organizations Knife Rights Foundation and Second Amendment Foundation.

"For simply having a common, everyday Swiss Army multi-tool with the blade open in his pocket, Mr. Castillolopez was charged, prosecuted, and convicted of a very serious crime," explained Lee. "We strongly believe that the Court of Appeal correctly held that the State's arguments are wrong on the law and hope the Supreme Court similarly disposes of the matter in its forthcoming decision."

Click "Read More >>>>" below for full details and to read the Amicus Brief.

Read More >>>>
 
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African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015 - CALL & WRITE TODAY!

July 16, 2015: Senators Steve Daines (MT) and Lamar Alexander (TN) have introduced S. 1769, the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015. This is companion legislation to HR 697 in the House of Representatives. These bills would end the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's unilateral moratorium on the trade in lawfully owned ivory, including ivory handled knives. It also strengthens measures to stop elephant poaching in Africa and punishes countries that smuggle illicit ivory.

Please CALL or EMAIL your Representative and Senators and ask them to Co-Sponsor the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015 (H.R. 697 or S.1769, respectively) to protect both elephants and Americans. You can find your U.S. legislators and send them all an email here: www.democracy.io

This bill is carefully tailored to allow the Administration to combat African elephant poaching and criminal organizations that sell illicit ivory in China. The bill protects innocent Americans who have complied with existing import prohibitions on ivory and the large stocks of ivory that have been in the United States for over 25 years. It protects the owners of knives, firearms, musical instruments, canes and a multitude of other items that include this decades-old legal ivory.

For additional details, click on Read More >>>>

Read More >>>>
 
Connecticut Supreme Court Decision in Knife Case Affirms Second Amendment Status and Rights

Knives and the Second AmendmentDecember 16, 2014: Since its inception, Knife Rights has had as a foundational position that knives are arms protected by the Second Amendment. While generally used as tools daily by millions of Americans, knives are also occasionally used as an "arm" to defend a person's life. Our logo declares these are "Essential Rights." However, actual court rulings on this issue are always appreciated. Recently the Connecticut Supreme Court has affirmed that knives are arms protected by the Second Amendment in a case with potential wider implications.

In its decision overturning a prior conviction, the Court held that "the second amendment protects the defendant’s right to possess the dirk knife … in his home and, second, that the statute’s complete ban on transporting those items between residences unduly burdens that right." The Court further said, "[t]hus, the safe transportation of weapons protected by the second amendment is an essential corollary of the right to possess them in the home for self-defense when such transportation is necessary to effectuate that right."

Read More >>>>
 
The FORCE is with Knife Rights! An Extraordinary Record of Success!

Knife Rights Knife Wars™ 2014December 29, 2014: With 2014 fading away, we look forward to the new year with great anticipation. In the waning months of this year we've been working hard getting ready for the 2015 legislative session. The coming weeks and months will see a record number of Knife Rights bills filed, building on the momentum we have achieved in the past six years.

Knife Rights' unprecedented record of success--19 legislative victories in 15 states in 6 years--has been a team effort made possible only because of your generous support. Our passion is fueled by you; we are forging a Sharper Future™ together. Please enjoy this short Knife Wars™ 2014 video.

 
Knife Rights First Annual Ratings of Worst Anti-Knife Cities and Best States for Knife Owners

November 19, 2014: In the past five years Knife Rights has significantly improved knife ownership and carry in the United States, passing 15 pro-knife bills in 11 states. This first annual review of the worst and best knife laws in America contrasts places where law-abiding knife owners enjoy complete or substantial freedom with those places which restrict the freedom of honest citizens by imposing arbitrary and irrational restrictions.The ratings were released at the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Sportsman - Legislator Summit held in Sunriver, Oregon.

The ten worst anti-knife cities stand out for their outright persecution of honest knife owners and extraordinarily restrictive anti-knife ordinances, far more severe and irrational than even the state laws in those areas. All too often this results in unwary citizens being subject to arrest and prosecution, and loss of their knives, for having a knife that is perfectly legal elsewhere in the state.

1. New York, NY / 2. Philadelphia, PA / 3. Ocean City, MD / 4. San Antonio, TX / 5. Rocky River, OH / 6. Boston, MA / 7. Cleveland, OH / 8. Chicago, IL / 9. Corpus Christi, TX / 10. Aspen, CO

CLICK HERE for more details on each of the 10 worst cities' knife restrictions and the 10 Best States for Knife Owners

 
New York's Village Voice Slams NYC Gravity Knife Enforcement

The Village Voice Front Page Oct. 8, 2014Oct. 8, 2014: New York City's The Village Voice newspaper has published a front-page article, "Blade Stunner," slamming the City's persecution of knife owners. Journalist Jon Campbell's in-depth research provides a historical perspective and personalizes the unfortunate and serious impact the City's irrational and unconstitutional enforcement has had on citizens arrested and prosecuted for simply carrying a common folding knife.

One of the most shocking revelations in this article confirms Knife Rights' longstanding position that tens of thousands of citizens have been victimized by the City's outrageous enforcement practices. In the first estimate by an independent organization it reports that, "Village Voice analysis of data from several sources suggests there have been as many as 60,000 gravity-knife prosecutions over the past decade, and that the rate has more than doubled in that time. If those estimates are correct, it's enough to place gravity-knife offenses among the top 10 most prosecuted crimes in New York City."

Click here to read the complete "Blade Stunner" article.

Author Jon Campbell also has a short somewhat humorous, if pointed, companion piece, which makes good reading as well, "On Switchblades, 'Cheap Dime Store Hoods' and That Wet End, Lachance"

Knife Rights' Federal civil rights lawsuit continues against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. Click here to read the latest news on this lawsuit.

Please support Knife Rights' fight against New York City by making a donation: http://www.KnifeRights.org/Donate

 
NY Court Sets Aside Gravity Knife Charge: WARNING! DOESN'T CHANGE ANYTHING for Now

July 25, 2014: In a remarkably commonsense decision, a New York court has set aside a Gravity Knife prosecution "in the interest of justice." Click to read the Judge's decision. This decision is getting a lot of attention, which is good, however... WARNING! Residents of New York City and those traveling there should NOT take this as meaning that they can now carry any folding knife they want. (Click Read More >>>> below for details)

Read More >>>>
 
Knives and the Second Amendment Published

Knives and the Second AmendmentThe first detailed scholarly analysis of knives and the Second Amendment has been published in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform (vol. 47, pages 167-215). Authored by noted Second Amendment scholars Dave Kopel, Clayton Cramer and Joe Olson, the paper makes the case for knives as "arms" protected by the Second Amendment, supporting one of Knife Rights' foundational tenets.

Knife Rights applauds these scholars for this long-overdue effort. This is a great start on the sort of scholarly work that needs to be done to assist in potential legal cases down the road. The arguments made and supported in this article will also support our legislative efforts to roll back knife bans and oppose proposed new restrictions on knives.

For more details and a link to the complete article Knives and the Second Amendment, click on "Read More>>>>" below.

Read More >>>>
 
Knife Rights Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against New York City and NYC DA Cyrus Vance, Jr.

Knife Rights is spearheading a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit, originally filed in June 2011, against New York City and New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. over their wrongful harassment of knife owners, retailers and manufacturers.  As this lawsuit works its way forward, we will post newsworthy events and links to articles, motions and other relevant information here (Click on "Read More >>>>" below for links).

Lawsuit Summary: The lawsuit challenges New York City’s and District Attorney Vance’s attempt to criminalize as contraband the most widely-owned pocket knives in America -- one-hand opening and assisted opening folding knives -- under state laws prohibiting switchblades and gravity knives. The case seeks a judicial determination that the New York State laws regarding switchblades and gravity knives are unconstitutionally vague as applied by NYC and the DA to these common pocket knives (which are distinct from gravity knives and switchblades because of their bias towards closure). Knife Rights' lawsuit intends to stop New York City officials from abusing this vague state law to make bogus arrests of law-abiding citizens carrying common pocket knives, and from coercing knife retailers into making huge payments to avoid prosecution.(Click on "Read More >>>>" below for links to background articles)

Status Summary as of Sept. 22, 2015: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously ruled today that Knife Rights' Federal civil rights lawsuit against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. will proceed, reversing a District Court's erroneous dismissal of the case on procedural "standing" grounds.

The Second Circuit ruled that Knife Rights' plaintiffs John Copeland, Pedro Perez, and Native Leather have the right to pursue their claims to end the unconstitutional manner in which the City and the DA have enforced state gravity knife law against honest individuals and businesses with regard to common folding knives. Click here to read article with full details.

Read More >>>>
 
 
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