Over the years many local political jurisdictions (towns, cities and counties, etc.) have enacted laws banning the sale, possession, use, and/or manufacture of certain types of knives. This includes knives that the average citizen would consider common pocketknives. In most cases, these local restrictions are more restrictive than state law and they often contradict state law.
The resulting patchwork of ordinances and rules serve to confuse or entrap those traveling within or through a state. A person can be charged with a violation of 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 state’s own constitution.
Knife Rights believes it is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect that knife owners are forced to constantly maintain detailed knowledge of innumerable local laws in order to stay legal in their state or in transit. Many of these local political jurisdictions within a state differ dramatically regarding knife laws. In some cases, a knife owner might be subject to a half dozen different restrictions in an hour’s travel.
Knife Law Preemption eliminates the patchwork of local restrictions on knives so knife owners need only understand and abide by the state’s knife laws.
A number of years ago the National Rifle Association began enacting what they termed “firearms preemption” legislation. This legislation preempted the laws of local jurisdictions making the state the sole authority on gun laws. These preemption laws allowed the state to occupy the field of firearms law creating uniformity throughout the state.
Opponents of preemption claimed that removing the ability of the cities and towns to regulate firearms would result in increased violence and crime. Of course, this has not occurred. As a matter of fact, it has resulted in a uniform body of laws which makes it much easier for citizens, as well as law enforcement, to know the law. Knife owners deserve no less.
Because we are simply following along this same path already paved earlier by those who fought for firearms preemption, we anticipate a much easier time of it. Forty six states have firearms law preemption by act of the legislature
Knife Rights’ national strategy is to work to enact knife law preemption throughout the United States.
Due to the efforts of Knife Rights, in 2010 the Arizona legislature enacted the nation’s first Knife Preemption Law. Utah and New Hampshire followed suit in 2011.
Together we can work towards a Sharper Futureâ„¢ for all Americans.