July 25, 2021: When I last reflected on the founding of Knife Rights, it was the tenth anniversary of the Wall Street Journal article that inspired me to form an advocacy organization for knife owners (see below). Now, another five years have passed and it is 15 years since that fateful day. It doesn’t quite seem like yesterday, but it also doesn’t seem like it’s been 15 years—a decade and a half! Time passes quickly when you are having fun…and kicking butt!
The author of that article can’t have foreseen all that would come as a result of that article. He clearly intended to initiate the demonization of “tactical knives” in the same manner as he and others had been demonizing and attacking so-called “assault rifles,” aiming for bans and restrictions. Not such a far-fetched idea when you consider that the opening salvo to demonize switchblades in the 1950s, resulting in the Federal Switchblade Act and multiple state bans and restrictions, began with a similarly overwrought, sensationalist and fact-challenged article, “The Toy That Kills,” in the widely read and respected Woman’s Home Companion magazine.
It not all been fun and games, and that’s to be expected when you are working to repeal laws that have been on the books for decades, or in some cases, for over 100 years. Back in 2006 I coined the trademark slogan “A Sharper Future™” to encapsulate the ultimate goal of the organization. Despite the many naysayers and many obstacles, that “sharper future” I promised has become a reality. Knife Rights’ efforts have resulted (as of January 2023) in 40 bills enacted repealing knife bans in 26 states and over 150 cities and towns, most with bipartisan support. We have also been responsible for stopping 10 anti-knife bills. You can add in a number of litigation victories as well to that tally. View Knife Rights’ accomplishments at www.kniferights.org/about/accomplishments/ (For the latest total, go to: https://kniferights.org/about/accomplishments/ )
No matter how much passion I had, we could not have accomplished anything without the support of so many good people and businesses that share my vision to rewrite knife law in America. Thank you so much for your generous support. Together we are making that vision of a Sharper Future™ a reality.
July 25, 2016: Knife Rights was born ten years ago today after I read an outrageous and highly inflammatory article headlining the Wall Street Journal, entitled “How New, Deadly Pocketknives Became a $1 Billion Business” demonizing so-called “tactical knives.” A discredit to the Journal, the overwrought and sensationalist article was filled with distortions, misrepresentations, innuendo, outright lies and cherry-picked quotes pushing a transparent rabid anti-weapon and anti-freedom agenda. But, the story didn’t quite spark the anti-knife response the reporter probably hoped for — in fact, it had precisely the opposite effect.
One wonders what the editors were thinking when they chose to illustrate that fateful article with their poster child for evil and dangerous “tactical knives” – a diminutive Buck Knives “Metro” lock-blade keychain folding knife / bottle opener with a 1.125-inch one-hand opening blade. In any case, it demonstrates the absurd idiocy of assigning malevolence to an inanimate object based on physical characteristics. No knife is inherently “deadly” — that’s an irrational and nonsensical label.
A cornerstone of Knife Rights’ principles is that inanimate objects like knives must be used by someone against another in order to become deadly weapons. Even then, often they are used for self-defense, not offensively. Knives are simply essential everyday tools used by millions of Americans at home, at work and at play and occasionally they are “arms” used to protect a life. Removing knives from statutory lists of per se (intrinsically) “deadly weapons” is an ongoing goal of Knife Rights.
We formally founded Knife Rights in December of 2006, adopting the slogan “A Sharper Future™ as our objective. The foundation for Knife Rights was expressed as “Essential Tools – Essential Rights™.”
It took a few years to get our legs under us, but in 2009 Knife Rights provided the key grassroots knife owner’s component of a coalition of groups that opposed U.S. Customs’ efforts to redefine a switchblade to include these same one-hand opening knives. The end result was that Congress passed a fifth exception to the Federal Switchblade Act that protected one-hand opening and assisted-opening folding knives.
Springboarding off that success, in 2010 we began our efforts to rewrite knife law at the state level. Knife Rights passed the nation’s first ever outright repeal of a state knife ban (switchblades, dirks, daggers and stilettos) in New Hampshire and the nation’s first ever Knife Law Preemption bill in Arizona, ridding the state of its inconsistent patchwork of local knife restrictions. This proved all the naysayers wrong; those who said it couldn’t be done.
It was, indeed, possible to repeal switchblade and other knife bans. Having proved those defeatists wrong, we have never looked back. Since 2010 we have been going gangbusters, proving again and again that Knife Rights can do what was once though impossible:
UPDATED as of January 2, 2023: 40 Bills Enacted Repealing Knife Bans in 26 States!
10 Anti-knife Bills Stopped!
List of Accomplishments
Knife Rights has also been active in federal and state courts protecting and advancing knife owners’ rights. Never backing down from a challenge, our first lawsuit filed five years ago took on New York City’s persecution of retailers and tens of thousands of knife owners carrying common pocketknives. While that lawsuit is still ongoing, we’ve been involved in one way or another with a dozen other lawsuits or trials where knife owners’ rights were imperiled. We have been on the prevailing side in every one!
Knife Rights is The One Getting It Done™ for knife owners in America. With the generous support of many of you reading this, our success is unprecedented, unparalleled and unrivaled.
However, we cannot rest on our past wins. The fight continues and it takes money to accomplish what we do. Your donations are the engine that drives us forward.
Help celebrate a decade of Knife Rights’ unprecedented achievements by making a donation or joining to become a member.
Help keep us fighting for your freedoms. And, thank you so much for your dedication to our cause!