April 28: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed the the nation’s first Knife Preemption Law, advanced by Knife Rights. The bill, SB1153, was passed by bipartisan votes of 36-19 in the Arizona House and 19-9 in the Arizona Senate. It will take effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns, expected this week, and not only prevents political subdivisions from enacting new ordinances and rules, but voids all existing restrictive knife ordinances. In combination with Arizona’s recently enacted constitutional concealed carry law, knife owners in Arizona will enjoy the most accommodating knife laws in the country.
Click here to read the final bill with Governor Brewer’s requested amendments incorporated (which improved the final bill).
The passage of Arizona’s Knife Preemption Law is precedent setting for knife owner rights. Arizona is the first state to establish specific preemption for knife laws and this represents the successful kick-off of Knife Rights’ National Knife Law Preemption Campaign, a key component of Knife Rightsâ€™ national legislative agenda to protect and enhance knife ownersâ€™ rights. Knife Rights anticipates that the Arizona preemption law will serve as a model for preemption efforts in other states whose citizens are subject to a similar patchwork of restrictive local knife laws with attendant civil rights issues. We have already been approached by a number of legislators and citizens who want to initiate knife law preemption for their states. Knife Rights will aggressively pursue these opportunities.
Knife Rights’ national strategy is to work to enact knife preemption laws throughout the United States. This would afford the same protection to knife owners that firearms owners in forty six states already enjoy (New Jersey is unique in that it provides for preemption for all criminal statues, which also includes knives, but it does not have a specific knife preemption law). Arizona is just the start.
Preemption prevents the creation of, or eliminates, a patchwork of ordinances and rules which serve to confuse or entrap those traveling within or through the state. A person traveling in a state without preemption laws could be charged with a violation of local law when they have no intention of violating the law. Further, local ordinances often violate the right to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment and, in many cases, by the stateâ€™s own constitution.
Knife Rights sincerely appreciates the strong legislative leadership provided by the bill’s primary sponsor, Arizona Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray, as well as the support of co-sponsors: Senators Ron Gould, Russell Pearce, Frank Antenori, Jack Harper, Al Melvin, Jonathan Paton and Thayer Verschoor and Representatives David Gowan, Carl Seel, David Stevens, Cecil Ash, Ray Barnes, Andy Biggs, Judy Burges, Steve Court, Debbie Lesko, Steve Montenegro, Rick Murphy and Warde Nichols. Thanks also to all the legislators, from both sides of the aisle, who voted for the preemption bill. At a time when partisan politics seems the norm, the bipartisan support was very welcome and testament to the common-sense appeal of knife law preemption.
Knife Rights would like to express our appreciation for the support provided by Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, National Rifle Association (NRA), Arizonaâ€™s NRA affiliate, the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association, Arizona Citizens Defense League, Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife, Copper State Cutlery Association and Arizona Knife Collectors Association.