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Knife Rights Notable Recent Successes

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

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Tennessee Knife Law Preemption Signed into Law by Governor Print E-mail

May 17, 2013: Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed SB1015 today making Tennessee the Seventh state to enact Knife Rights most important legislative initiative, Knife Law Preemption.

SB1051, sponsored by Senator Mike Bell and with its companion bill, HB0581, sponsored by Representative Vance Dennis, repeals all existing local knife laws on the books in Tennessee and prevents cities and towns from enacting any new knife laws more restrictive than state law.

The original bills also addressed those state laws by including a repeal on the ban on switchblades, dirks, daggers, stilettos and knives over four inches in length, but because of petty political reasons that section was stripped from the bill. The preemption section that remained and has now been signed into law is arguably more important and a huge step in the right direction. However, Knife Rights is committed to passing commonsense repeal of the ban on these knives next year.


April 18, 2013: The Tennessee Senate, on a vote of 27-4, concurred on the House amended Knife Rights Knife Law Preemption bill, sending it to Governor Haslam. Please call AND email Governor Bill Haslam and ask him to sign SB1015/HB0581: 615-741-2001 - bill.haslam@tn.gov

Knife Rights would like to thank the bill sponsors, Sen. Mike Bell and Rep. Vance Dennis, for their efforts to get this bill passed .

SB1015/HB0581 originally included language to repeal the Tennessee ban on switchblade knives and knives over 4-inches long, as well as enact Knife Law Preemption. It passed the Senate overwhelmingly, but was amended in the House after a last minute hyperbolic misinformation campaign in opposition to those repeal portions of the bill by the Tennessee Sheriff's Association.

Testimony by their executive director included such outlandish remarks about switchblades as being intimidating because, "it even sounds like a shotgun rack, if you want to get right down to it."

What that has to do with whether a knife should be legal or not, we are not at all sure. Moreover, an automatic sounds no different than most any other one-hand opening knife when opened aggressively. Perhaps the Sheriffs would like to outlaw Harleys because they sound more intimidating that a Vespa scooter?

As sometimes occurs in the legislative process, we were faced with the choice of moving what is arguably the most important part of the bill, preemption, and coming back next year on the rest, or seeing the bill die altogether.

Knife Rights is pleased to "take the win" on Knife Law Preemption, our state legislative priority.

Tennessee is the seventh state to pass Knife Law Preemption since Knife Rights passed the first-in-the-nation Knife Law Preemption bill in Arizona in 2010, and the third state this year, following Kansas and Alaska.

Sponsors Bell and Dennis have assured us that they will be back next session with a bill to repeal the ban on switchblades and knives over 4-inches long and with time to counter the Tennessee Sherriff's Association's irrational misinformation, and your help, we are confident we will get it done.

Meanwhile, please help us finish off this effort. Call AND email Governor Bill Haslam and ask him to sign SB1015/HB0581: 615-741-2001 bill.haslam@tn.gov

When you call and email, keep it polite, short and to the point. Simply ask the Governor to please sign SB1015/HB0581 as soon as possible.


April 10, 2013: Our Tennessee Knife Rights bill escaped certain defeat in the House Ways and Means Committee after the sponsor agreed to delete the repeal of the switchblade ban and 4-inch limit. The Tennessee Sheriffs' Association irrationally and emotionally attacked the portion of the bill that overturned the ban on switchblades and blades over 4 inches long. The sponsors were offered a choice by the Committee, amend the bill or we will kill it. The sponsors chose to amend the bill and SAVE the critical Knife Law Preemption aspect of the bill repealing every local knife law in Tennessee and preventing new local knife laws from being passed.

However, now WE MUST turn our disappointment, and anger, into a determination to make sure the Preemption aspect of this bill passes the full House.

It is just as frustrating for the sponsors as it is for us to see their bill that passed the Senate overwhelmingly be amended in this respect by the Committee. However, they understand the big picture and the need to move the other important aspect of this bill, Knife Law Preemption. They are to be commended for their hard work and they are committed to coming back next year. We now know who the opposition is and we have an entire year to prepare for next year's effort.

If you are as frustrated and disappointed as we are in the sheriffs' opposition, then you should contact your local sheriff and let them know. Tennessee sheriffs are ELECTED officials and should hear from you. Find your sheriff at this link and call and email them to let them know your displeasure with their Tennessee Sheriffs' Association: http://www.tnsheriffs.com/Contact.htm

Please note that your local sheriff may not even know of the position the organization took on this commonsense bill and may not support the organization's position. So, let them know how you feel, but please be VERY RESPECTFUL and POLITE, and then ask them to inform the Sheriff's Association if they are not happy with the organization's action on this bill. If you cannot be respectful and polite, don't call or email as that will only hurt our cause.

Then you should email the Tennessee Sheriff's Association and, again, being VERY RESPECTFUL and POLITE, express your displeasure with their irrational lobbying against this commonsense bill: Executive Director is Sheriff Terry Ashe (ret.): terryashe@tnsheriffs.com President is Sheriff David Andrews: sheriffdkandrews@putnamco.org

However, now WE MUST turn our disappointment, and anger, into a determination to make sure the Preemption aspect of this bill passes the full House.

If you live, work or travel in Tennessee, it is critical that you contact your Representative and ask them to vote YES on HB0581

You can locate your representative here: http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/legislators/

Whether writing or calling, simply ask them to vote in favor of HB0581. Keep it POLITE, short and to the point.


April 8, 2013: Despite opposition, thanks to YOUR phone calls and emails, the Tennessee Knife Rights Bill cleared the House Finance Subcommittee and is now on the agenda for a full House Finance Committee vote next week. Now we need you to call and email Chairman Sargent each one of the committee members and ask them to please vote YES on HB0581.

According to the legislative analysis, HB0581 has "no significant fiscal impact" on the state of Tennessee and therefore there is no reason why the Finance Committee shouldn't pass this bill. However, it still received 5 NO votes in the sub-committee!

The time has come to improve Tennessee's knife laws and pass HB0581. Please be sure to contact everyone on this list, then get your friends, family and associates to call and email also!!!

When calling and writing, simply ask them to vote in favor of HB0581, remind them that it has "no significant fiscal impact" and you could also remind them that SB1015, the companion bill in the Tennessee Senate, has already passed 27-3. Keep your calls and emails POLITE, short and to the point.

Chairman, Rep. Charles Sargent - rep.charles.sargent@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-6808

Rep. David Alexander - rep.david.alexander@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-8695
Rep. Joe Armstrong - rep.joe.armstrong@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-0768
Rep. Kevin Brooks - rep.kevin.brooks@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-1350
Rep. Kent Calfee - rep.kent.calfee@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-7658
Rep. Mike Carter - rep.mike.carter@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-3025
Rep. Barbara Cooper - rep.barbara.cooper@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-4295
Rep. Lois DeBerry - rep.lois.deberry@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-3830
Rep, Craig Fitzhugh - rep.craig.fitzhugh@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-2134
Rep. Steve Hall - rep.steve.hall@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-2287
Rep. Mike Harrison - rep.mike.harrison@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-7480
Rep. David Hawk - rep.david.hawk@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-7482
Rep. Matthew Hill - rep.matthew.hill@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-2251
Rep. Curtis Johnson - rep.curtis.johnson@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-4341
Rep. Gerald McCormick - rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-2548
Rep. Steve McDaniel - rep.steve.mcdaniel@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-0750
Rep. Larry Miller - rep.larry.miller@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-4453
Rep. Gary Odom - rep.gary.odom@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-4410
Rep. Dennis Roach - rep.dennis.roach@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-2534
Rep. Johnny Shaw - rep.johnny.shaw@capitol.tn.gov  615-741-4538


March 28, 2013: Thanks to YOUR phone calls and emails TN Representative Mike Harrison, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has agreed to hear HB0581, the Tennessee Knife Rights Bill, on April 3. It is important to contact him and THANK him for agreeing to hear the bill and also to ask him to vote YES on HB0581 when it is heard. His email address is: rep.mike.harrison@capitol.tn.gov His office phone is 615- 741-7480

THEN it is CRITICAL that you contact the following members of the committee to ask them to vote YES when it is heard on April 3. Click on "Read More >>>>" below for contacts:

Rep. David Alexander - rep.david.alexander@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-8695
Rep. Joe Armstrong - rep.joe.armstrong@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-0768
Rep. Kevin Brooks - rep.kevin.brooks@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-1350
Rep. Lois DeBerry - rep.lois.deberry@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-3830
Rep, Craig Fitzhugh - rep.craig.fitzhugh@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-2134
Rep. David Hawk - rep.david.hawk@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-7482
Rep. Gerald McCormick - rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-2548
Rep. Steve McDaniel - rep.steve.mcdaniel@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-0750
Rep. Gary Odom - rep.gary.odom@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-4410
Rep. Dennis Roach - rep.dennis.roach@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-2534
Rep. Charles Sargent - rep.charles.sargent@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-6808

HB0581 would allow the possession of automatic/switchblade knives and enact knife law preemption which would make the state the sole authority on knife laws, which will create consistency throughout Tennessee.


March 27, 2013: HELP US MOVE TENNESSEE KNIFE RIGHTS BILL: Knife Rights has just received word that HB0581, a Knife Rights requested bill that would enact Knife Law Preemption, repeal Tennessee's antiquated ban on automatic knives (switchblades) and repeal the the state's four-inch knife length limitation, is being held in the Tennessee House Ways and Means Committee.

If you live, work or travel in Tennessee, please call Ways and Means Committee Chairman Mike Harrison at 615-741-7480 and politely request that he move HB0581 to a vote in the committee.

If you get voice mail please leave a message for him to move the bill to a vote. Also after you call please email him at rep.mike.harrison@capitol.tn.gov and ask him to move HB0581. .

Remind him that its companion bill in the TN Senate has already passed 27-3.


March 21, 2013: Clearing another legislative hurdle, HB0581, a Knife Rights requested bill that would enact Knife Law Preemption, repeal Tennessee's antiquated ban on automatic knives (switchblades) and repeal the the state's four-inch knife length limitation, has been voted out of House Criminal Justice Committee and now moves on to the House Finance Subcommittee on Ways and Means.

If you live, work or travel in Tennessee, please contact your Representative and ask them to Vote in Yes on HB0581. Click here to locate your Representative, and/or the Representative who represents where you work or travel.

HB0581 and SB1015, which already passed the Senate, would enact Knife Law Preemption, repeal Tennessee's antiquated ban on automatic knives (switchblades) and repeal the the state's four-inch knife length limitation. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state.

Whether writing or calling, all that is necessary is to simply ask them to vote in favor of HB2033. Keep it short and to the point.

March 13, 2013: Clearing another legislative hurdle, the Tennessee House Criminal Justice Sub-Committee has passed HB0581 to the full Criminal Justice Committee with a recommendation to pass. Sponsored by Rep. Vance Dennis, this bill is identical to SB1015 that was passed by the senate last week. Write or call your Representative NOW!

HB0581 and SB1015 would enact Knife Law Preemption, repeal Tennessee's antiquated ban on automatic knives (switchblades) and repeal the the state's four-inch knife length limitation. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state.

If you live, work or travel in Tennessee, please contact your Representative and ask them to Vote in Yes on HB0581. Click here to locate your Representative, and/or the Representative who represents where you work or travel.

Whether writing or calling, all that is necessary is to simply ask them to vote in favor of HB2033. Keep it short and to the point.


March 7, 2013: The Tennessee Senate passed Senate Bill SB1015, on an overwhelming bipartisan majority vote of 27-3. Congratulations to sponsor Sen. Mike Bell. There is a companion bill in the Tennessee House, HB0581 sponsored by Rep. Vance Dennis, which is identical to SB1015 and we expect movement on that bill as soon as next week. Write or call your Representative NOW!

SB1015 and HB0581 would enact Knife Law Preemption, repeal Tennessee's antiquated ban on automatic knives (switchblades) and repeal the the state's four-inch knife length limitation. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state.

If you live, work or travel in Tennessee, please contact your Representative and ask them to Vote in Yes on HB0581. Click here to locate your Representative, and/or the Representative who represents where you work or travel. Whether writing or calling, all that is necessary is to simply ask them to vote in favor of HB0581. Keep it short and to the point.

Whether writing or calling, all that is necessary is to simply ask them to vote in favor of HB2033. Keep it short and to the point.


February 27, 2013: Senate Bill SB1015, a Knife Rights requested bill sponsored by Senator Mike Bell that would enact Knife Law Preemption, repeal Tennessee's antiquated ban on automatic knives (switchblades) and repeal the the state's four-inch knife length limitation, has been voted out of committee with a 7-1 vote of recommendation for passage. It now moves to the full Senate.

Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state. Preemption prevents the creation of, or eliminates, a patchwork of local ordinances and laws more restrictive than state law which serve to confuse or entrap those traveling within or through the state.

If you live, work or travel in Tennessee, please contact your Senator and ask them to Vote in favor of yes SB1015. Click here to locate your Senator, and/or the Senator who represents where you work or travel. Whether writing or calling, all that is necessary is to simply ask them to vote in favor of SB1015. Keep it short and to the point.

January 31, 2013: Two companion Knife Rights requested bills have been introduced in the Tennessee Senate and House that would enact Knife Law Preemption, repeal Tennessee's antiquated ban on automatic knives (switchblades) and repeal the the state's four-inch knife length limitation.

Senate Bill SB1015 was introduced by Senator Mike Bell and House Bill HB0581 was introduced by Rep. Vance Dennis.

Preemption prevents the creation of, or eliminates, a patchwork of ordinances and rules which serve to confuse or entrap those traveling within or through the state. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state. Knife Rights has passed similar Knife Preemption Laws in Arizona, Utah, New Hampshire and Georgia and repealed irrational knife bans in New Hampshire, Washington and Missouri.

If you live, work or travel in Tennessee, please contact your Senator and Representative and ask them to support SB1015 and HB0581, respectively. Click here to locate your Legislators, and/or the Legislators who represent where you work or travel.

 
 
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