Minnesota State Senator Paul Utke and Representatives Cal Bahr, Tim Miller, John Poston, Erik Mortensen, Eric Lucero and Donald Raleigh have introduced, respectively, SF 1026 and HF 824, Constitutional Amendment bills “providing for the right of the people to acquire, keep, possess, transport,carry, transfer, and use arms including firearms, knives, or any other weapons and ammunition, components, and accessories for these arms.” Knife Rights appreciates our friends in Minnesota including knives in this proposed amendment.
Minnesota is one of only six states without specific constitutional protection for the right to bear arms (the others are California, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey and New York).
This is the first such proposed amendment, or strengthening of existing protections, that specifically calls out “knives” as being protected. While commonsense interpretation of constitutional protections for “arms” would seem to generally protect knives (see Knives and the Second Amendment), that hasn’t historically been the result in every relevant state legal case that has been adjudicated. As recent examples, cases in Connecticut and Wisconsin on appeal affirmed that knives were protected; a New Mexico lower court decision that was never appealed said switchblades were not protected (raised as a defense in the case), and suggested other knives wouldn’t be protected either.
The proposed amendment includes much stronger protection of the right to bear arms, including knives, than is found in most such constitutional protections. These added protections are designed to counter infringements on the right to bear arms allowed by various courts over the years.
Knife Rights will let you know when it is time to contact your legislators to support these bills. If passed by a simple majority in both houses, voters would then vote on the amendment during the 2022 General Election. It must receive a “a majority of all the electors voting at the election” in order to be ratified.
Knife Rights is America’s grassroots knife owners’ organization; leading the fight to Rewrite Knife Law in America™ and forging a Sharper Future for all Americans™. Knife Rights efforts have resulted in 33 bills enacted repealing knife bans in 23 states and over 100 cities and towns since 2010.