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Knife Rights Notable Recent Successes

  • Congress Amends Federal Switchblade Act
    to Protect Assisted and One-Hand Openers
    - Read More...
  • Arizona, Utah, New Hampshire, Georgia, Kansas, Alaska, Tennessee & Oklahoma Knife Preemption Laws Enacted
    National Knife Law Preemption Campaign Rolls On
  • New Hampshire, Maine, Missouri, Kansas, Alaska, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee & Nevada Knife Rights Bills
    Legalize Automatics (Switchblades) and other banned knives
  • Washington Knife Rights Bill
    Legalizes Assisted-Openers & Allows Manufacture of Automatics

  • Knife Rights is the Second Front
    in Defense of the Second Amendment™
    JOIN KNIFE RIGHTS TODAY!

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Two Victories in New York, But the Fight Continues

New York SealJune 23, 2015: With the adjournment of the New York Legislature, Knife Rights and knife owners can chalk up two wins and one disappointing loss. Both the proposed Machete Ban and the Draconian Ivory Possession and Transportation Ban were defeated. The "fix" to the gravity knife statute that would end bogus New York City knife arrests did not pass when Senate Republicans refused to vote on the bill already passed overwhelmingly by the Democratic controlled Assembly (for the second year in a row).

However, the wins and loss come with an asterisk. All three bills will remain active through next year's session, beginning where they left off this year. So, we'll have to be back in Albany next year to again lobby against against both bills we defeated this year and to support the "fix" to the state's gravity knife law that didn't get over the finish line this year. Senate leadership has assured Knife Rights that they will consider a knife law reform bill next year.

Click on the links above for full details on each of the bills.

 
Knife Rights' Texas Knife Law Preemption Bill Signed by Governor

June 17, 2015: Texas Governor Abbott has signed Knife Right's Knife Law Preemption bill, HB 905, which repeals local ordinances more restrictive than state law and ensures that the repeal of the Texas ban on switchblade (automatic) knives that Knife Rights passed last session will now be the law throughout Texas.

The new law goes into effect September 1. Texans should note that until the new law is in effect, they can still be charged with violations under existing law.

Read More >>>>
 
Knife Rights' Nevada Knife Law Reform Bill Signed Governor

June 2, 2015: Knife Rights' Nevada Knife Law Reform Bill, SB 176, was signed by Governor Sandoval on June 1st. This act repeals existing bans on switchblade knives (longer than 2-inches), dirks, daggers and belt buckle knives and becomes effective on July 1, 2015.

Unfortunately, because preemption was dropped from the bill, citizens and travelers will still have to be wary of local regulations more restrictive than the new state law.

Nevada is the tenth state, the third this year, where Knife Rights has repealed knife bans. Knife Rights would like to express our sincere appreciation to our bill sponsor, Nevada State Senator James Settelmeyer, who guided this bill through a difficult legislative process.

Read More >>>>
 
Wisconsin Limited Switchblade Ban Repeal Bill Amended into Full Blown Knife Rights' Knife Law Reform

June 3, 2015: Working closely with AB 142 sponsor State Representative Kathy Bernier and committee staff, Knife Rights Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rathner, was able to facilitate the redraft of the limited "switchblade with CCW" AB 142 into a full blown knife law reform bill. The amended AB142 removes all restrictions on switchblades and concealed carry of knives from Wisconsin statutes with the exception that a person who is prohibited under state law from possessing a firearm may not go armed with a concealed knife that is a "dangerous weapon," and the bll now also includes Knife Law Preemption.

AB 142 passed the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety in a bipartisan vote of 8-2 and now moves to the full Assembly for its consideration.

If you live, work or travel in Wisconsin, CALL or EMAIL your Representative and ask them to please vote in favor of AB 142. That's all you need to ask of them, keep it simple and polite. Click here to Find Your Legislator on a map or click here for a listing of the Representatives.

Read More >>>>
 
Knife Rights' Knife Owners' Protection Act Clears Critical Hurdle in U.S. Senate

Knife Rights' Knife Owners' Protection Act, S. 1315 (KOPA), passed a critical hurdle yesterday when it was voted out of the the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Passage by the Commerce Committee sets the measure up for consideration by the full Senate.  KOPA protects travelers from a patchwork of conflicting state knife laws.  

 

The result of five years of effort, Knife Rights conceived, drafted and developed the Knife Owners' Protection Act as the first proactive pro-knife federal legislation introduced in the nation's history.  The Senate version of the bill is sponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-UT) with co-sposnors Senators. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mike Lee (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Thune (R-SD) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).

 

Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter noted, "This legislation will solve a real and growing problem that faces every knife owner traveling throughout America--the threat of arrest and prosecution under misguided local laws merely for possessing knives during lawful travel."  KOPA will protect law-abiding knife owners traveling throughout the U.S. from a patchwork of restrictive state and local laws. As long as possession of the particular knife is legal where the journey starts and ends, and provided the knife is secured in accordance with KOPA, a knife owner would no longer be threatened with arrest simply for traveling from one place to another.

Read More >>>>
 
MEDIA RELEASE: President Obama Declared Freddie Gray's Knife NOT a Switchblade in 2009
May 7, 2015 - Gilbert, AZ: Freddie Gray was charged by Officer G. Miller with violating Baltimore's "Switch-blade knives" City Code which was originally passed in 1950. Freddie Gray's knife was described by the officer, under penalty of perjury, as "...found to be a spring assisted, one hand operated knife..." (link to Charging Document) In other words, the officer swore that it was a spring-assisted knife.

In response to Customs' attempt in 2009 to arbitrarily redefine what a switchblade was, Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law on October 28 2009, specific language protecting one-hand opening and spring-assisted knives from being included as switchblades under the 1958 Federal Switchblade Act.

CLICK HERE to read the full Media Release including an explanation of the difference between Spring-Assisted (Assisted-Opening) vs. Switchblade (Automatic) Knives and why Freddie Gray's knife was not a switchblade under Baltimore City Code.

 
Knife Rights' Oklahoma Knife Law Preemption Bill Signed by Governor

May 4, 2015: Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has signed Knife Rights' Knife Law Preemption bill, HB 1460, after passage by the House 81-4. The new preemption law becomes effective November 1, 2015. Oklahoma is the EIGHTH state in which Knife Rights has passed a Knife Law Preemption bill.

Combined with Knife Rights' Switchblade Carry Ban Repeal bill, HB 1911, that the Governor signed last week, preemption ensures that switchblade carriers will not have to deal with local restrictions on switchblades and that possession of all knives will be legal throughout the state. Daggers, bowie knives and dirks are still prohibited from general carry in Oklahoma. Knife Rights still has some clean-up work to do in Oklahoma, but passage of these two bills this year is a huge step forward for Oklahomans.

Read More >>>>
 
Christian Science Monitor asks, "Should it really be illegal to carry a knife in the city?"

April 27, 2015: Patrik Jonsson, a writer for the Christian Science Monitor, asked a very insightful question in an April 22 story on the recent questionable death of Freddie Gray while in custody of the Baltimore police: "Should it really be illegal to carry a knife in the city?" It should come as no surprise that Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter's response is, "no, it should not be illegal to carry any knife, only actual use of a knife for criminal purposes should be illegal." Doug is quoted several times in the article that explores the absurdity of knife bans and the adverse consequences that often result. Click here to read the article.

UPDATE 5/1/2015: State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby has indicated that Freddie Gray was falsely arrested and that the knife in his pocket was not illegal. Mosby said she will file murder charges against one officer and manslaughter and other charges against others.

According to news reports, Freddie Gray was arrested after a police officer supposedly found a "switchblade" in his pocket. But, the court documents reveal something else: "The officer noticed a knife clipped to the inside of his front right pants pocket. The defendant was arrested without force or incident," the documents say. "The knife was recovered by this officer and found to be a spring-assisted, one-hand-operated knife." (Emphasis added.) Note that the officer did not refer to the knife as a "switchblade."

Click "Read More >>>>" below for additional details on the arrest and differences between a legal assisted-opening knife and a switchblade.

Read More >>>>
 
Maine Becomes 8th State to Repeal Switchblade Ban

April 17, 2015: Maine Governor LePage has signed into law LD 264, "An Act To Restore the Right To Possess Certain Knives That Are Used by Many Citizens as Tools," repealing the state's ban on switchblade (automatic) knives. Maine is the eighth state to repeal its ban on switchblades since Knife Rights started it Sharper Future™ campaign six years ago.

Knife Rights would like to thank and congratulate LD 264 sponsor Representative Joel Stetkis for his leadership in passing LD 264. As a freshman legislator it means a lot to us that Knife Rights' victories in repealing bans in seven states previously gave Rep. Stetkis the inspiration and confidence to take on Maine's ban as one of his first legislative efforts.

The new law takes effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns, which by statute is scheduled for June 17 which would make the effective date September 15, if adjournment occurs on schedule.

Read More >>>>
 
Knife Rights Urges California Supreme Court to Affirm Legality of Common Folding Knives


Stock Photo
April 14, 2015: A legal brief urging the California Supreme Court to rule that common, non-locking Swiss Army Knives and similar pocketknives are not illegal 'dirks' or 'daggers' was filed on Monday.

George M. Lee, a partner at the San Francisco law firm of Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate, wrote the "friend of the court" brief in the criminal matter of State of California v. Emmanuel Castillolopez on behalf of the civil rights organizations Knife Rights Foundation and Second Amendment Foundation.

"For simply having a common, everyday Swiss Army multi-tool with the blade open in his pocket, Mr. Castillolopez was charged, prosecuted, and convicted of a very serious crime," explained Lee. "We strongly believe that the Court of Appeal correctly held that the State's arguments are wrong on the law and hope the Supreme Court similarly disposes of the matter in its forthcoming decision."

Click "Read More >>>>" below for full details and to read the Amicus Brief.

Read More >>>>
 
 
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Knife Rights LegalBlade™ App Introduced - World's First Knife Law App!

Knife Rights Foundation is pleased to announce its groundbreaking LegalBlade™ App - Knife Laws in America™. LegalBlade™ is the world's first knife law app! LegalBlade™ provides guidance at your fingertips to the knife laws of all 50 states as well as over 40 cities and local jurisdictions in the United States.

Knife Rights Founder and Chairman Doug Ritter said, "While Knife Rights will continue to aggressively work to repeal bad knife laws, knowledge of the law is the first step in avoiding an unfortunate arrest, loss of your knife or other legal complications."

The LegalBlade™ App is available now in the App Store and on Google play

Download on the App Store   Get it on Google Play

Click on "Read More >>>>" for additional details.

Read More >>>>
 
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African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015 - CALL & WRITE TODAY!

February 6, 2015: Alaskan Congressman Don Young has introduced bipartisan legislation with Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) to roll-back and further halt onerous constraints on the import and export of lawfully possessed ivory products, including musical instruments, firearms, and museum pieces that include ivory parts. The legislation, the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015, would effectively end the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s unilateral moratorium on the importation, exportation, and sale of lawfully possessed ivory, while also making significant efforts to assist anti-poaching efforts in countries with elephant populations.

Please CALL or EMAIL your Representative and ask them to Co-Sponsor the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015

Find your Representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

This bill is carefully tailored to allow the Administration to combat African elephant poaching and criminal organizations that sell illicit ivory in China. The bill protects innocent Americans who have complied with existing import prohibitions on antiques and the large stocks of ivory that have been in the United States for over 25 years. It protects the owners of musical instruments, knives, firearms, canes and a multitude of other items that include this decades-old legal ivory.

Read More >>>>
 
New York City Pays $7,500 to Falsely Arrested Knife Owner!

Oct. 31, 2014: The City of New York has agreed to pay $7,500 to a falsely arrested knife owner in a Knife Rights supported case. The embarrassing settlement shows that the city would rather pay than try to justify its illegal conduct after police declared his knife an illegal "gravity knife" even though the blade did not lock open. The knife owner (a sculptor who uses a knife for his work) was arrested, handcuffed, booked, and placed in a holding cell like a common criminal.

"New York City's outrageous persecution of those with common pocket knives must end. This is just one of thousands of similar outrageous excesses by the City and DA. Knife Rights will continue to fight these unconstitutional abuses by the City until we win" said Doug Ritter, Chairman of Knife Rights.

VIDEO: Many Knife Arrests in New York City, Few Convictions - WNBC New York I-Team Investigation. Includes Knife Rights' attorney Richard Holzberg and his client who received a $7,500 settlement from NYC after being falsely arrested.

Read More >>>>
 
Connecticut Supreme Court Decision in Knife Case Affirms Second Amendment Status and Rights

Knives and the Second AmendmentDecember 16, 2014: Since its inception, Knife Rights has had as a foundational position that knives are arms protected by the Second Amendment. While generally used as tools daily by millions of Americans, knives are also occasionally used as an "arm" to defend a person's life. Our logo declares these are "Essential Rights." However, actual court rulings on this issue are always appreciated. Recently the Connecticut Supreme Court has affirmed that knives are arms protected by the Second Amendment in a case with potential wider implications.

In its decision overturning a prior conviction, the Court held that "the second amendment protects the defendant’s right to possess the dirk knife … in his home and, second, that the statute’s complete ban on transporting those items between residences unduly burdens that right." The Court further said, "[t]hus, the safe transportation of weapons protected by the second amendment is an essential corollary of the right to possess them in the home for self-defense when such transportation is necessary to effectuate that right."

Read More >>>>
 
The FORCE is with Knife Rights! An Extraordinary Record of Success!

Knife Rights Knife Wars™ 2014December 29, 2014: With 2014 fading away, we look forward to the new year with great anticipation. In the waning months of this year we've been working hard getting ready for the 2015 legislative session. The coming weeks and months will see a record number of Knife Rights bills filed, building on the momentum we have achieved in the past six years.

Knife Rights' unprecedented record of success--19 legislative victories in 15 states in 6 years--has been a team effort made possible only because of your generous support. Our passion is fueled by you; we are forging a Sharper Future™ together. Please enjoy this short Knife Wars™ 2014 video.

 
Knife Rights First Annual Ratings of Worst Anti-Knife Cities and Best States for Knife Owners

November 19, 2014: In the past five years Knife Rights has significantly improved knife ownership and carry in the United States, passing 15 pro-knife bills in 11 states. This first annual review of the worst and best knife laws in America contrasts places where law-abiding knife owners enjoy complete or substantial freedom with those places which restrict the freedom of honest citizens by imposing arbitrary and irrational restrictions.The ratings were released at the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Sportsman - Legislator Summit held in Sunriver, Oregon.

The ten worst anti-knife cities stand out for their outright persecution of honest knife owners and extraordinarily restrictive anti-knife ordinances, far more severe and irrational than even the state laws in those areas. All too often this results in unwary citizens being subject to arrest and prosecution, and loss of their knives, for having a knife that is perfectly legal elsewhere in the state.

1. New York, NY / 2. Philadelphia, PA / 3. Ocean City, MD / 4. San Antonio, TX / 5. Rocky River, OH / 6. Boston, MA / 7. Cleveland, OH / 8. Chicago, IL / 9. Corpus Christi, TX / 10. Aspen, CO

CLICK HERE for more details on each of the 10 worst cities' knife restrictions and the 10 Best States for Knife Owners

 
New York's Village Voice Slams NYC Gravity Knife Enforcement

The Village Voice Front Page Oct. 8, 2014Oct. 8, 2014: New York City's The Village Voice newspaper has published a front-page article, "Blade Stunner," slamming the City's persecution of knife owners. Journalist Jon Campbell's in-depth research provides a historical perspective and personalizes the unfortunate and serious impact the City's irrational and unconstitutional enforcement has had on citizens arrested and prosecuted for simply carrying a common folding knife.

One of the most shocking revelations in this article confirms Knife Rights' longstanding position that tens of thousands of citizens have been victimized by the City's outrageous enforcement practices. In the first estimate by an independent organization it reports that, "Village Voice analysis of data from several sources suggests there have been as many as 60,000 gravity-knife prosecutions over the past decade, and that the rate has more than doubled in that time. If those estimates are correct, it's enough to place gravity-knife offenses among the top 10 most prosecuted crimes in New York City."

Click here to read the complete "Blade Stunner" article.

Author Jon Campbell also has a short somewhat humorous, if pointed, companion piece, which makes good reading as well, "On Switchblades, 'Cheap Dime Store Hoods' and That Wet End, Lachance"

Knife Rights' Federal civil rights lawsuit continues against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. Click here to read the latest news on this lawsuit.

Please support Knife Rights' fight against New York City by making a donation: http://www.KnifeRights.org/Donate

 
NY Court Sets Aside Gravity Knife Charge: WARNING! DOESN'T CHANGE ANYTHING for Now

July 25, 2014: In a remarkably commonsense decision, a New York court has set aside a Gravity Knife prosecution "in the interest of justice." Click to read the Judge's decision. This decision is getting a lot of attention, which is good, however... WARNING! Residents of New York City and those traveling there should NOT take this as meaning that they can now carry any folding knife they want. (Click Read More >>>> below for details)

Read More >>>>
 
Knives and the Second Amendment Published

Knives and the Second AmendmentThe first detailed scholarly analysis of knives and the Second Amendment has been published in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform (vol. 47, pages 167-215). Authored by noted Second Amendment scholars Dave Kopel, Clayton Cramer and Joe Olson, the paper makes the case for knives as "arms" protected by the Second Amendment, supporting one of Knife Rights' foundational tenets.

Knife Rights applauds these scholars for this long-overdue effort. This is a great start on the sort of scholarly work that needs to be done to assist in potential legal cases down the road. The arguments made and supported in this article will also support our legislative efforts to roll back knife bans and oppose proposed new restrictions on knives.

For more details and a link to the complete article Knives and the Second Amendment, click on "Read More>>>>" below.

Read More >>>>
 
Knife Rights Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against New York City and NYC DA Cyrus Vance, Jr.

Knife Rights is the lead plaintiff in a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit originally filed in June,2011, against New York City and New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.over their wrongful harassment of knife owners, retailers and manufacturers.  As this lawsuit works its way forward, we will post newsworthy events and links to articles, motions and other relevant information here (Click on "Read More >>>>" below for links).

Lawsuit Summary: The lawsuit challenges New York City’s and District Attorney Vance’s attempt to criminalize as contraband the most widely-owned pocket knives in America -- one-hand opening and assisted opening folding knives -- under state laws prohibiting switchblades and gravity knives. The case seeks a judicial determination that the New York State laws regarding switchblades and gravity knives are unconstitutionally vague as applied by NYC and the DA to these common pocket knives (which are distinct from gravity knives and switchblades because of their bias towards closure). Knife Rights' lawsuit intends to stop New York City officials from abusing this vague state law to make bogus arrests of law-abiding citizens carrying common pocket knives, and from coercing knife retailers into making huge payments to avoid prosecution.(Click on "Read More >>>>" below for links to background articles)

Status Summary as of Jan 16, 2015: Oral argument in the appeal of Knife Rights' Federal Civil Rights case against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., which was dismissed on standing grounds, was held on January 13 in New York City. In response to questions from the bench, the DA's attorney was forced to admit that what had happened to plaintiff John Copeland could happen to anyone. When asked directly if someone could show his knife to two policemen who tested the knife with the city's (indeterminate) "wrist-flick" test and found the knife legal, that the same knife could later be found illegal by a third policeman, he agreed that was the case. That goes directly to the claim in the lawsuit that this test is unconstitutionally vague because no one can know if any Common Folding Knife is legal. Click here to read article with full details.

Read More >>>>
 
 
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