"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -- Thomas Jefferson
Sunday, 04 October 2015
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"I can't think of a more fundamentally useful, basic tool in existence today than a good quality knife."

"I whole-heartedly endorse the work of Knife Rights and support their mission! Join Knife Rights today."

-- R. Lee "The Gunny" Ermey

"Knife Rights is the Second Front in Defense of the Second Amendment. They are the premier grassroots organization protecting our right to own knives. Those who love freedom need Knife Rights, so please join me in supporting their mission."

-- Wayne LaPierre, Exec. VP & CEO, NRA

"Whether in town or on a hunt, a knife earns its place at my side as an essential tool. I am a knife user and proud to be one."

"Leave my knives alone! Knife Rights is standing up for our freedom. Join me in this fight; join Knife Rights today!"

-- S.E. Cupp

From an American family addicted to self evident truth, logic and the American Way, Tribe Nugent salutes the efforts of Knife Rights. I joined Knife Rights to support the great job they are doing; you should too!"

"God Bless Knife Rights!"

-- Ted Nugent
Knife Rights Notable Recent Successes

  • Congress Amends Federal Switchblade Act
    to Protect Assisted and One-Hand Openers
    -
  • 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™

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.

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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.

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Two Victories in New York, But the Fight for Justice Continues

New York SealJune 23, 2015: With the adjournment of the New York Legislature, Knife Rights and knife owners can chalk up two wins and one disappointing loss. Both the proposed Machete Ban and the Draconian Ivory Possession and Transportation Ban were defeated. The "fix" to the gravity knife statute that would end bogus New York City knife arrests did not pass when Senate Republicans refused to vote on the bill already passed overwhelmingly by the Democratic controlled Assembly (for the second year in a row).

However, the wins and loss come with an asterisk. All three bills will remain active through next year's session, beginning where they left off this year. So, we'll have to be back in Albany next year to again lobby against against both bills we defeated this year and to support the "fix" to the state's gravity knife law that didn't get over the finish line this year. Senate leadership has assured Knife Rights that they will consider a knife law reform bill next year.

Click on the links above for full details on each of the bills.

Knife Rights' Texas Knife Law Preemption Takes Effect Sept. 1

Sept. 1, 2015: Today is the effective date for Knife Rights' signature Knife Law Preemption bill in Texas. Several Texas cities will see their restrictive knife laws voided today. The new law invalidates all municipal and county knife ordinances more restrictive than state law, creating uniform knife laws throughout the Lone Star State. The new law also ensues that Knife Rights' repeal of the state's ban on switchblade (automatic) knives that was passed in 2013 will now have effect throughout the state.

The two Texas cities that made Knife Rights' "10 Worst Anti-Knife Cities in America" list for 2014, San Antonio at number four and Corpus Christi at number nine, have now been removed. Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, "Removing two of the nation's worst anti-knife cities from our list in a single act is an example of what can be done when we all work together towards greater freedom in America."

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Knife Rights' Nevada Knife Law Reform Bill Signed Governor

June 2, 2015: Knife Rights' Nevada Knife Law Reform Bill, SB 176, was signed by Governor Sandoval on June 1st. This act repeals existing bans on switchblade knives (longer than 2-inches), dirks, daggers and belt buckle knives and becomes effective on July 1, 2015.

Unfortunately, because preemption was dropped from the bill, citizens and travelers will still have to be wary of local regulations more restrictive than the new state law.

Nevada is the tenth state, the third this year, where Knife Rights has repealed knife bans. Knife Rights would like to express our sincere appreciation to our bill sponsor, Nevada State Senator James Settelmeyer, who guided this bill through a difficult legislative process.

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Wisconsin Limited Switchblade Ban Repeal Bill Amended into Full Blown Knife Rights' Knife Law Reform

June 3, 2015: Working closely with AB 142 sponsor State Representative Kathy Bernier and committee staff, Knife Rights Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rathner, was able to facilitate the redraft of the limited "switchblade with CCW" AB 142 into a full blown knife law reform bill. The amended AB142 removes all restrictions on switchblades and concealed carry of knives from Wisconsin statutes with the exception that a person who is prohibited under state law from possessing a firearm may not go armed with a concealed knife that is a "dangerous weapon," and the bll now also includes Knife Law Preemption.

AB 142 passed the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety in a bipartisan vote of 8-2 and now moves to the full Assembly for its consideration.

If you live, work or travel in Wisconsin, CALL or EMAIL your Representative and ask them to please vote in favor of AB 142. That's all you need to ask of them, keep it simple and polite. Click here to Find Your Legislator on a map or click here for a listing of the Representatives.

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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.

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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' Oklahoma Knife Law Preemption Bill Signed by Governor

May 4, 2015: Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has signed Knife Rights' Knife Law Preemption bill, HB 1460, after passage by the House 81-4. The new preemption law becomes effective November 1, 2015. Oklahoma is the EIGHTH state in which Knife Rights has passed a Knife Law Preemption bill.

Combined with Knife Rights' Switchblade Carry Ban Repeal bill, HB 1911, that the Governor signed last week, preemption ensures that switchblade carriers will not have to deal with local restrictions on switchblades and that possession of all knives will be legal throughout the state. Daggers, bowie knives and dirks are still prohibited from general carry in Oklahoma. Knife Rights still has some clean-up work to do in Oklahoma, but passage of these two bills this year is a huge step forward for Oklahomans.

Both new laws goes into effect November 1. Oklahomans should note that until the new law is in effect, they can still be charged with violations under existing law.

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Christian Science Monitor asks, "Should it really be illegal to carry a knife in the city?"

April 27, 2015: Patrik Jonsson, a writer for the Christian Science Monitor, asked a very insightful question in an April 22 story on the recent questionable death of Freddie Gray while in custody of the Baltimore police: "Should it really be illegal to carry a knife in the city?" It should come as no surprise that Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter's response is, "no, it should not be illegal to carry any knife, only actual use of a knife for criminal purposes should be illegal." Doug is quoted several times in the article that explores the absurdity of knife bans and the adverse consequences that often result. Click here to read the article.

UPDATE 5/1/2015: State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby has indicated that Freddie Gray was falsely arrested and that the knife in his pocket was not illegal. Mosby said she will file murder charges against one officer and manslaughter and other charges against others.

According to news reports, Freddie Gray was arrested after a police officer supposedly found a "switchblade" in his pocket. But, the court documents reveal something else: "The officer noticed a knife clipped to the inside of his front right pants pocket. The defendant was arrested without force or incident," the documents say. "The knife was recovered by this officer and found to be a spring-assisted, one-hand-operated knife." (Emphasis added.) Note that the officer did not refer to the knife as a "switchblade."

Click "Read More >>>>" below for additional details on the arrest and differences between a legal assisted-opening knife and a switchblade.

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Maine Becomes 8th State to Repeal Switchblade Ban

April 17, 2015: Maine Governor LePage has signed into law LD 264, "An Act To Restore the Right To Possess Certain Knives That Are Used by Many Citizens as Tools," repealing the state's ban on switchblade (automatic) knives. Maine is the eighth state to repeal its ban on switchblades since Knife Rights started it Sharper Future™ campaign six years ago.

Knife Rights would like to thank and congratulate LD 264 sponsor Representative Joel Stetkis for his leadership in passing LD 264. As a freshman legislator it means a lot to us that Knife Rights' victories in repealing bans in seven states previously gave Rep. Stetkis the inspiration and confidence to take on Maine's ban as one of his first legislative efforts.

The new law goes into effect October 15. Maine residents should note that until the new law is in effect, they can still be charged with violations under existing law.

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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.

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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.

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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 >>>>

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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."

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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)

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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.

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

Knife Rights is the lead plaintiff in 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 July 27, 2015: Knife Rights last week filed a Rule 28(j) Notice of Supplemental Authorities in Knife Rights' Federal Civil Rights lawsuit against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. A Rule 28(j) filing is used to "bring pertinent and significant authorities" to the Court's attention after oral argument (in our case, back in January of this year), but before the decision is announced. In this instance the U.S. Supreme Court recently issued an 8-1 decision in the case of Johnson v United States which bolstered Knife Rights' argument that the New York State law regarding gravity knives is unconstitutionally vague as applied by NYC and the DA to common folding knives (which are distinct from gravity knives because of their bias towards closure). Click here to read article with full details.

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