After a string of victories in 2013, the hard-chargers at KnifeRights are getting an early start on next year’s legislative work. They’ve already gotten a knife-law preemption bill filed in the Florida state senate and sponsored legislation to legalize automatics and blades over 4″ in the Tennessee senate.
After last year’s legislative push fell short of repealing the Volunteer State’s ban on automatic knives and the carry of larger blades, KnifeRights worked with the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association to address the Association’s officer-safety concerns while easing restrictions on knife possession and carry.
With help from KnifeRights, State senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) introduced SB 1438 which would remove the ban on automatic knives and allow the carry of knives (including automatics!) with blades longer than four inches. If it passes, which is much more likely without the opposition of the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association, it will go into effect on July 1st, 2014.
SB 458 would enact a ‘Uniform Knife And Weapons Act’ and supersede any conflicting local ordinances. Beyond simple pre-emption, senator Thad Altman’s (R-16) bill would affirmatively require localities to repeal any knife laws which conflict with state law, and would authorize civil suits (and money damages) against any county or municipality which fails to comply.
SB 458 would also define ‘common pocketknife’ as “a knife that can be carried in a pocket, purse, handbag, backpack, briefcase, sheath or similar container.” Since Floridians can carry ‘common pocketknives’ concealed, this opens the door wide for just about any concealable blade. Swords and big-ass Kukris probably need not apply.
If you live in Tennessee or Florida (we’re lookin’ at you, Clay) you should hit the KnifeRights home page for instructions on how to contact your legislator. And how to throw a few bucks to KnifeRights while you’re at it.