"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -- Thomas Jefferson
Knife Rights' Texas "Illegal Knife" Repeal Bill Hearing

March 30, 2017: Knife Rights' Texas Knife Law Reform Bill, HB 1935, that would repeal the ban on all "illegal knives" in Texas statutes, has been scheduled for a hearing on Monday in the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

If you live, work or travel in Texas, please contact the committee members TODAY and politely ask them to "please vote "YES" on HB 1935." That's all you need to do, short and simple.

You can easily send an email to all the members of the Committee using Knife Rights new Legislative Action Center: Click here to send emails to the Committee
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Knife Rights' Georgia Knife Law Reform to Governor

March 30, 2017: The Georgia House has overwhelmingly passed HB 292 that includes the language from Knife Rights' Georgia Knife Law Reform bill, SB 49. It is now headed to the Governor for action.

This bill would increase the legal carry length of a knife blade in the state from 5 inches to 12 inches (see Section 3 of HB 292). HB 292 is this year's "omnibus" gun bill in Georgia.

If you live, work or travel in Georgia, like to attend BLADE Show in Atlanta, please contact Governor Deal and ask him to "please sign HB 292."

You can easily email the Governor using Knife Rights new Legislative Action Center. Click here to email the Governor.

Or, you can phone the Governor at: 404-656-1776

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Knife Rights' Vermont Knife Law Preemption Bill Introduced

March 30, 2017: Knife Rights' Vermont Knife Law Preemption bill, H 276, has been introduced by Rep. Patrick Brennan. The bill simply adds "knives" to the existing Vermont Firearms preemption statute.

Knife Law Preemption repeals and prevents local ordinances more restrictive than state law which only serve to confuse or entrap law-abiding citizens traveling within or through the state. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state

Knife Rights is rewriting knife law in America™. Knife Rights passed the nation's first Knife Law Preemption bill removing patchworks of local knife laws that trap unwary citizens in Arizona in 2010 and has since passed preemption bills in Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

Knife Rights' Michigan Switchblade Ban Adavances

March 28, 2017: Knife Rights' Michigan Switchblade Ban Repeal bill, SB 245, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee 5 - 0. The bill now heads to the Senate floor for a vote. The bill would repeal Michigan's outright ban on possession and sale of automatic (switchblade) knives.

Knife Rights has repealed switchblade bans in Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

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Governor Signs Colorado Switchblade/Gravity Knife Ban Repeal

March 23, 2017: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper today signed SB 17-008, the bill to repeal Colorado's switchblade and gravity knife ban. Congratulations to sponsors Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. Steve Lebsock for their effective leadership in moving this bipartisan bill thorough the legislature with overwhelming votes in both houses. Thanks to everyone who called or emailed the Governor urging him to sign the bill.

Knife Rights was pleased to be able to assist the sponsors in moving this bill through the legislature. Knife Rights' Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rathner, traveled to Denver to lobby the bill at the invitation of the sponsors, overcoming objections raised by some legislators. We'd also like to thank Sen. Hill's constituent, retired Air Force Master Sgt. John Bloodgood, whose request was the inspiration for this bill and who did a great job supporting the bill in testimony at the hearings.

Note that the repeal does not become effective until 90 days after the current legislative session ends. That would make enactment approximately August 9, 2017. We will let you know the actual enactment date once the session ends. Until enactment, possession of automatic and gravity knives remains illegal in Colorado. Also worth noting is that once enacted and the ban is repealed, automatic knives will be subject to Colorado's concealed carry blade length limitation of 3.5 inches or less.

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Knife Owners' Protection Act of 2017 Includes Federal Switchblade Act Repeal

January 3, 2017: Originally conceived and authored by Knife Rights in 2010 and first introduced in 2013, the Knife Owners' Protection Act of 2017 (KOPA), H.R. 84, now includes repeal of the archaic 1958 Federal Switchblade Act and has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05). KOPA will remove the irrational restrictions on interstate trade in automatic knives that are legal to one degree or another in 40 states, while also protecting the right of knife owners to travel throughout the U.S. without fear of prosecution under the myriad patchwork of state and local knife laws.

Click on Read More >>>> for additional details and how to contact your Congressman to hep get this bill passed.

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Knife Rights' West Virginia Preemption Bill Advances - CALL/EMAIL TODAY!

February 17, 2017: Knife Rights' West Virginia Knife Law Preemption bill, HB 2209, sponsored by Delegate Rupert Phillips, has passed the House Political Subdivisions committee on a voice vote. HB 2209 now moves to the House Judiciary Committee for another hearing.

If you live, work or travel in West Virginia, please CALL or EMAIL the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Delegate John Scott at: (304) 340-3252 or john.shott@wvhouse.gov and politely request that he "Please schedule HB 2209 for a hearing as soon as possible."

Use the SUBJECT: Please Schedule SB 2209 for Hearing

Then please EMAIL all the members of the committee and politely ask them to: "Please vote YES on HB 2209 when it is heard in the Judiciary Committee."

Click Read More>>>> for emails of the committee members and additional details
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Docs Filed in Knife Rights Appeal in New York City Gravity Knife Lawsuit

March 3, 2017: Following up on the Notice of Appeal in our federal civil rights lawsuit against New Your City filed last month, the next set of required preliminary papers has been filed.

Our Pre-Argument Statement (Form C) is a required filing that includes Addendum A and B which lay out the basics of the case, with a "Description of the Nature of the Action" and "Issues to be Raised on Appeal." This provides the foundation upon which the actual appeal brief of District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest's tortured 35-page decision in the case will rest.

Actual briefs in the case will be filed with the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit within several months.

For full details about the outrageous decision in this case and appeal, click on Read More>>>>.

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Virginia Switchblade Ban Repeal Vetoed

February 21, 2017: Virginia Governor McAuliffe vetoed House Bill 1432 that would have repealed Virginia's switchblade ban including, for the most part, allowing concealed carry.

Knife Rights supported this bill even though we had concerns with the language. Unfortunately, despite everyone's best efforts it failed. Knife Rights remains committed to repealing Virginia's switchblade ban.

Knife Rights is rewriting knife law in America™. Knife Rights passed the nation's first repeal of a switchblade (automatic) knife ban in 2010 in New Hampshire and has since passed repeal of switchblade bans (and repealed other knife restrictions) in Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

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New York Gravity Knife Reform Bills Filed--Again!

March 3, 2017: Knife Rights' Gravity Knife Law Reform Bills, A.5667 and S. 4769 have been introduced in the New York Assembly. This is the fourth year in a row that bills have been introduced to stop the abuse of the state's gravity knife statute by New York City. In response to New York Governor Cuomo's New Year's Eve veto overruling the New York Legislature that passed last year's bills by overwhelming margins, and the large coalition of organizations, many part of his own constituency, which supported the bill, this year's bill address the governor's concerns in his veto message, even as irrational and politically motivated as they may have been.

Knife Rights has worked closely with our allies in New York to craft a bill that directly addresses the Governor's concerns while also protecting innocent knife carriers in New York City from unjust arrests. The bill removes "centrifugal force" from the definition of a gravity knife to create a bright line definition that even New York City law enforcement and prosecutors can understand, as desired by the Governor. It would preclude the unconstitutionally vague "wrist flick" test that has resulted in over 60,000 arrests and persecutions in New York City and which the Governor himself described as "absurd."

Click Read More>>>> for Full Details

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Illinois Switchblade Ban Repeal Bill Re-Introduced

January 26, 2017: SB 607 to repeal Illinois' switchblade ban has been re-introduced by Senator Tim Bevins. This same bill, as SB2294, last year barely missed being passed, lacking only a floor vote in the House before time ran out before the vote could be held.

Knife Rights is again working closely with our friends on the ground in Springfield to get this bill passed this year.

Illinois currently has a complete ban on switchblade (automatic) knives, including manufacture and possession by anyone. Illinois was the last state to allow concealed carry of firearms, in 2013, and remains one of the most restrictive states in terms of Second Amendment rights.

Knife Rights Was Born 10 Years Ago Today!

10 Years Ago Wall Street Journal Article Ignited Knife Owners' Civil Rights Movement

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.

Reading that article I became incensed at the blatant, misguided attack on our everyday tools. I realized that there was no NRA for knife owners. There was no aggressive, proactive grassroots organization working to stop the U.S. from sinking into the anti-knife, anti-freedom pit that already exists in Europe and the U.K.

That article ignited a new civil rights movement. Over the past decade Knife Rights has literally rewritten knife law in America. More knives and more freedom couldn't have been further from his objective, but that's exactly what he got. Thank you, Wall Street Journal.

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Finally! After 5 Years Knife Rights' Day in Court to End Bogus NYC Gravity Knife Arrests

June 22, 2016: After five years, Knife Rights finally got its day in court in its Federal Civil Rights lawsuit against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. Last Thursday's oral argument wrapped up the actual trial in our long-running battle against New York City's unconstitutional enforcement of the state's gravity knife law against owners of common folding knives.

This was likely the first time a federal judge ever handled a true gravity knife (a German paratrooper knife) in any federal courtroom. That watershed moment came during a demonstration by Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter and Plaintiff's attorney Daniel Schmutter of the operation of three true gravity knives and eight common folding knives with bias toward closure. The 11 knives were selected from a total of 15 knives that were brought to court by Knife Rights in compliance with an order from Federal District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest.

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Freedom's Steel™ VI - Victory's Edge Bowie™ - Knife Rights' 2017 Collaboration Benefiting NRA-ILA

Knife Rights has donated Freedom's Steel™ VI - Victory's Edge™ Bowie, a one-of-a-kind Damascus Bowie knife by Master Blade Smith J.R. Cook with Barry Lee Hands engraving, to the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA).

Freedom's Steel™ VI will be a featured auction item at the NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction during the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the sixth year in a row that Knife Rights has donated a Freedom's Steel™ knife, raising over $120,000 the first five years.

For details, including high resolution images, go to: www.KnifeRights.org/FreedomsSteel

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.

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Federal Ivory Ban Rule Goes Into Effect July 6, 2016

"Standing Our Ground" Collaboration 2014
Updated July 3, 2016: On June 6 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), acting in furtherance of an executive order by President Obama, published its final rule concerning the Special Rule on African Elephants, commonly referred to as the "Federal Ivory Ban." The new rule goes into effect July 6. Knife Rights would like to thank our friend Rob Mitchell of the Elephant Protection Association for his insight in compiling the following summary.  
The Final Rule is designed to implement their goal of a "Near-Total Elephant Ivory Ban" as stated in the FWS press release that accompanied publication of the rule.

It is worth noting that the final rule is a far cry from the original proposals back in 2012 that had virtually no exceptions (see below). The delay in bringing forth the final rule and the changes for the better are the result of significant pushback by Knife Rights, Elephant Protection Association, National Rifle Association, Safari Club International and a number of musician's and music organizations and ivory and antique collector and dealer organizations. Without that effort, you can be sure that the final rule would have come out much sooner and been much, much more restrictive than it ended up being, albeit that it is plenty restrictive as it is.

The new rule covers "interstate commerce" in only elephant ivory and not fossil ivory (see below an explanation of why interstate commerce covers much more than you might expect).  It includes two exceptions to the near-total ban, both of which will have an adverse effect on trade in ivory handled and decorated knives.
1. The antique exception covers ivory that's 100 years old or older and was never repaired or modified since 1973
2. The de minimis exception covers ivory that is less than 100 years old and is further narrowed by six other criteria, all of which must be met.
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California Supreme Court Affirms "Swiss Army Knife" NOT an Illegal Dagger

Stock Photo
June 3, 2016: In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court yesterday affirmed a lower court ruling which held that a common slipjoint folding knife, in this case specifically a "Swiss Army Knife," was not a "dirk or dagger," prohibited when carried in the open position and concealed, under California law. Click here to read the decision.

The case arises from a 2012 arrest of a man in San Diego, California, after a traffic stop. Mr. Castillolopez was a passenger in the vehicle, who was found to be in possession of a Swiss Army Knife, which was being carried in a jacket pocket, with the blade in the open position. Mr. Castillolopez was not cited or charged with any other crime other than possession of a Dirk or Dagger, the concealment of which is a felony under California law.

Mr. Castillolopez's was convicted of carrying a dirk/dagger, and his conviction was reversed on appeal, as the appellate court found there was no evidence that the open blade of the Swiss Army Knife was "locked into position," and therefore, definitionally a dirk or dagger under California law. The California Attorney General appealed the decision, claiming that it was a lockblade knife. The California Supreme Court today affirmed the lower court's reversal.

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

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Knife Rights' Wisconsin Knife Law Reform Signed by Governor

February 8, 2016: Knife Rights' Wisconsin Knife Law Reform Bill including Knife Law Preemption, AB 142, was signed on February 6th by Governor Scott Walker. Wisconsin is the eleventh state in which Knife Rights has repealed a switchblade ban and the ninth in which we have passed Knife Law Preemption. The new law was enacted when it was officially published on February 7, 2016.

The signing ceremony was held during the annual meeting of Wisconsin FORCE, the state NRA affiliate. Wisconsin FORCE and Executive Director Jeff Nass played a critical role in passage of the bill and Knife Rights is appreciative of their support for our efforts to forge a Sharper Future for all Americans.

At the signing, Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter presented Governor Walker with a Pro-Tech TR-4 automatic (switchblade) knife specially engraved with the state seal and his name and dedication during the signing ceremony (photo after the break).

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WV Permitless Carry incl. Knives Passed – Knife Rights' Preemption Bill Stalled

March 6, 2016: West Virginia Governor Tomblin's veto of the Knife Rights supported West Virginia Permitless (Constitutional) Carry bill, HB 4145, was overridden by the legislature this past weekend. According to guidance provided by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the new law is effective May 24, 2016. The new law allows West Virginians 21 years old and older, who are not prohibited persons, to carry a concealed "deadly weapon," including knives, without a permit. That includes switchblades (automatics), balisongs and gravity knives.

However, knife carriers may still face local restrictions on their right to carry a knife. West Virginia's existing preemption law protects firearms owners only.

WARNING: Persons 18 years old but less than 21 years old may obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun BUT that license DOES NOT include concealed carry of a knife or any other "dangerous weapon." The penalties for anyone under 21 carrying a concealed knife illegally have been made far tougher. It is now a felony!

Anyone who is younger than 21 should be very careful to abide by West Virginia's 3.5-inch concealed carry limit and the total prohibition on concealed carry of switchblades (automatics), balisongs and gravity knives.

Knife Rights will be working in West Virginia next year to try and fix this absurd change in the law that adversely impacts those under age 21.

With all the oxygen sucked out of the state capitol by HB 4145, it will be a challenge to get Knife Rights' bipartisan West Virginia Knife Law Preemption bill, HB 4541, passed this year in the remaining days left in the session. HB 4541 would ensure that knife carriers don't face local restrictions on their right to carry a knife under HB 4145.

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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.

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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

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

Knife Rights is spearheading 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 June 10, 2016: Attorneys representing Knife Rights' plaintiffs and the defendants New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. will square off in Federal Court in Manhattan on Thursday morning, June 16. The oral argument portion of the trial on the merits will finally be held before U.S. District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest five years after our federal civil rights lawsuit was originally filed. The public is welcome to attend. Click here to read article with full details.

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