Knife Rights News Slice Vol. 2 Number 2

The Heller case ostensibly revolved around firearm ownership, but what it was really about was the Second Amendment, which doesn’t explicitly say “firearms,” rather only “arms.” The term “arms” when the Bill of Rights was written certainly included knives. So, there’s no doubt that this decision impacts our rights as knife owners, just as it does gun owners. So, what does the Heller Decision mean to knife owners?

To cut to the chase, in the short term it means only that the fight for our Knife Rights will continue unabated. The decision explicitly allowed for restrictions on ownership, carriage and use of the arms that the Court decided was your individual right to own. What it didn’t do was define the limitations on those restrictions and what circumstances would allow the government to restrict those rights. The Court left that to another day, which is why your vote this November could have far reaching consequences.

The potential good news is that it appears that the decision requires that strict judicial scrutiny be provided for any restrictions on this right. This is the same high level of protection accorded to such cherished and well protected rights as the First Amendment’s protection for speech and the press. Unfortunately, the Anti’s are not about to give up and they will continue to encourage, propose and enact restrictions until such time as case law can be developed that more specifically defines the limits, and that will take a long time and a lot of money and some courageous defendants and attorneys, as is always the case. The fight for protecting our freedoms does grind slowly.

While at Knife Rights we prefer to regard our knives as essential tools because that’s how the vast majority are used, protection of our rights will far more likely come from their being considered an “arm” protected by the Second Amendment. The aversion that some people and some companies have to knives being classed as weapons is understandable given the bad image weapons have in modern society, but it is foolhardy and shortsighted to ignore the most important protection available in blind pursuit of this more widely acceptable classification. You can have your cake and eat it too in this case, and if we are to maintain our right to own and carry these tools, we must do so with all vigor. A knife, any knife is both a tool and a potential weapon. For that matter, any weapon is simply a tool used for a particular purpose. Let’s not get hung up on semantics. To the world at large, these are simply tools. When it comes to protecting our rights, we best consider them “arms.”

Blade Show Report

Following up on the success of our first booth at the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville (see report here), we ventured down to Atlanta for Blade Show. This year we got a booth inside the exhibit hall, which worked out very well. Well known retired knifemaker and current sheathmaker and knife law expert witness Ron (R.W.) Clark joined us in the booth. We had a lot of folks stop by and many joined at the show.

We made progress on our efforts to launch the legal section of the Knife Rights site. Hopefully, this will bear fruit in the next few months. We also put together some very sweet deals for Knife Rights members and for fund raising efforts that we’ll be announcing over the next few months as we sort out final details.

Special Offer for New Knifemaker Members

I am very pleased to announce the first of the special deals that was done at Blade Show. Knife Rights member and renowned knife photographer, Terrill Hoffman, has offered up a deal that should be hard to refuse.

Any knifemaker signing up for a new Knife Rights membership can send a knife to Terrill for a free photography session, an $85 value. The knife will be photographed by Terrill in his inimitable style and a copy will be returned with the knife. A copy will also be sent to each of the major knife publications. The only cost will be shipping and any insurance they want on the knife. This promotion can be redeemed between now and start of Blade Show next year. It cannot be used at one of the knife shows where Terrill sets up his mobile studio and only one knife per photograph. However, Terrill is also offering to photograph additional knives at the same time with a 20% discount on the standard rate. Studio information can be found at

This is truly a great deal and Terrill’s generosity means that a Knifemaker Member can recoup more than the cost of their membership dues with this offer alone. Knifemakers can sign up for membership here

We’d also like to acknowledge the generous contribution of a new Corporate Member, Rowen Manufacturing.

We have raised some funds and scheduled work to update the Knife Rights Web site starting later this summer. The software is supposed to send out an annual renewal notice, but that appears to be broken and will require some work to fix. In the meantime, if you haven’t renewed, and we thank the many who have, please do keep us in mind. You can renew by logging in and clicking on “Your Subscription.”

We hope to see many of you in Portland, Oregon, September 26-28 at Blade West in its new and improved venue, the Monarch Hotel and Conference Center in Clackamas (what is euphemistically referred to as South Portland), For more information, see: