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Tuesday, 28 March 2017
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News Slice 2-17: Customs Officially Backs Off Print E-mail

In a letter to Representative Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Customs has officially backed off their proposed revocations in recognition of the Amendment that was passed by the Senate (see below), at least until the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill is acted upon in Conference Committee.

You can read the letter here, but the key paragraph reads "The amendment would effectively obviate the need for CBP's proposed revocations and render the current issue moot. Additionally, due to the numerous comments received in response to the proposed revocation, it is unlikely that CBP will take any further action prior to passage of the Appropriations Act.

This is about as close to a victory as we can come at this time. It may not be over until the fat lady sings, and we actually get the Amendment through Conference Committee, but for all practical purposes, we shouldn't have to worry about Customs reaching into your pockets for your pocket knives anytime soon. Do take note that Customs has included some ambiguous wording in their letter, leaving their options open, no surprise. But, make no mistake, they have gotten the message; don't mess with our pocket knives!

You'll note mention of the "numerous comments received." That is entirely because of all your efforts to write and mail those comments in. You got their attention, and you got Congress' attention with all your emails, letters and faxes to your Senators and Representatives. We are very pleased to have been a part of the coalition of advocacy groups that have helped bring this effort to this point. None of us could have done it alone and we want to thank AKTI, NRA, the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for their cooperation and support. I'd also like to give recognition to Les de Asis and Benchmade's own legislative team who have played a major part in the coalition efforts that have led us to this point.

We still need to get this Amendment through the Conference Committee, but that becomes much easier with each passing day as the pieces, such as this, fall into place. We'll continue to work in cooperation with the other advocacy groups to line up support in the House to accomplish that after the August Recess. As we noted in an email earlier this week, for the moment, just sit back, celebrate this victory and bask in the knowledge that we have come together to overcome great odds to get to this point. YOU did this, the voice of the people; the system sometimes still works.

The amendment to the Federal Switchblade Act has passed in the Senate. Next stop, and last hurdle, will be Conference Committee. That is not going to happen until after the August Recess (see more below).

View the amendment as published in the Congressional Record.

Many of you have asked how this Amendment 1447 would solve the Customs switchblade issue. We've got your answer in our Explanation of Amendment 1447.

You deserve to give yourself a big pat on the back for this. It was your letters, faxes and emails that led to this success. This amendment, if it gets through the Conference Committee, will stop Customs' rulemaking and protect your pocket knives with a permanent solution.

NEWS FLASH: Just in. Our representative who went down and hand counted the letters reports that the final count of Comments letters mailed to Customs is 5,200!!! That is incredible; more than two and half times the original Customs estimate. It is a testament to your outrage over Customs' heavy-handed actions and your dedication. That flood of letters put Customs on notice that they were not going to get away with this without a fight. Thanks to everyone who made that effort to mail their letters to Customs!

Our thanks to Senators Cornyn, Pryor, Hatch, Vitter, Risch, Chambliss, Corker, Enzi, Barrasso, Graham, Roberts, Wyden and Crapo for co-sponsoring this amendment.

We only have one more hurdle, getting through the Conference Committee. The Conference Committee will not meet until after the August Recess. As such, you probably will not be hearing too much until September, if then. Our legislative consultants tell us that it makes no sense to write your House Member at this point, with any action over a month away. Politics is often a case of hurry up and wait. We did the hurry up, now we wait.

That the conference committee won't meet until after the recess doesn't mean we're not working with our friends in the House and Senate to shore up support. In fact, we are working very hard at that behind the scenes. Together with our colleagues in the other advocacy groups we are talking with key players who will be leading the effort to retain the amendment in conference. We'll keep you advised of any important news.

It is never a done deal in politics, until it is actually done. Having said that, we have shown ourselves to be a force to be reckoned with. Right now its time to celebrate our success so far, having overcome great odds to get to this point.

Thank you again for all your efforts and for your contributions. If you haven't yet made a contribution or become a member of Knife Rights, please consider it now. This success did not come cheap, and we are still not yet done. We still need your financial support.

      

You can read relevant announcements from some of the involved parties here:

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