A disproportionate amount of my comment and email correspondence comes from fellow citizens of the Volunteer State. Next Tuesday, July 1st, is “Tennessee Knife Freedom Day”. This past April Governor Haslam signed SB1771 which legalizes automatic knives and removes length restrictions for knife carry, but one week from today the law goes into effect. Coupled with the preemption bill that passed last year, the Tennessee will be pretty darn close to perfect with regards to the Right to Keep and Bear Edged Tools -a natural extension of the 2nd Amendment. I am not a lawyer, but I beleive the only restriction may be that libraries and Government buildings .
Tennessee is the latest in a string of states where KnifeRights.org has achieved legislative success. Arizona, Utah, New Hampshire, Georgia, Kansas, Alaska & Tennessee have all seen preemption laws passed, and New Hampshire, Missouri, Kansas, Alaska, Indiana, Texas have seen antiquated restrictions on automatic knives repealed.
I propose two activities in which we as a TTAK community can engage. The first comes to us from reader Curtis. In a similar vein as the TTAG “I am a gun owner” photo campaign, I am asking for reader photos. If you live in a “free state” and already own an auto send us a pic of your knife or you and your knife. If you do not own an auto, for whether by law or by choice, send us a picture of or with a fixed blade folder of over 4″ (or whatever knife you want, it is about freedom). The reason I say 4″ is that 4″ is currently/will have been on the 1st the legal limit for EDC in TN. Even if you live somewhere that prohibits carry of particular knives, chances are the possession at home of a 4″+ knife is legal and if you are reading this blog you likely own one.
This leads me to my second idea. I think that this is a great opportunity to try a little media activism.
If you live in a less knife friendly location, I am going to post several sample letters that you can personalize and email (or even snail mail) to your state representatives asking for legislative action on preemption or knife restrictions.
If you live in state that honors the RTKB edged tools, there are issues such as the Knife Owners’ Protection Act on which you could contact your federal representatives. KnifeRights.org already has a sample letter:
“I support H.R.3478, the Knife Owners’ Protection Act of 2013. I urge you to become a co-sponsor of this commonsense legislation that will protect my rights and the rights of all knife owners to travel throughout the U.S. without fear of prosecution under the myriad of state and local knife laws.”
Tennessee Knife Freedom Day seems like a good opportunity to try and make a wave. If we can get hundreds, or (even thousands if we can get this to go viral) of people to write to their elected representatives at once, maybe we can move the football a bit for the knife rights movement. Maybe TTAG will help us with this and publicize it further (apparently they have a lot of readers or something). I will try to get the twitter ball rolling. I am sure I could at least get Twitter support from people I know at CRKT and Benchmade, as well as KnifeRights. Get as many people as possible to actually send an email or call and then tweet something like:
“I emailed @yourcongresscritterhere to ask him to support H.R.3478 the Knife Owners’ Protection Act” #knifefreedom (and a link to a page at TTAK where we post the sample letter along with the links to the congressional directory.)
If the right people decide to pass it along, it could result in something consequential.
Who knows? I may be just pissing in the wind on this and I am completely nuts. But if we are not on offense we are on defense, and I think this idea has at least a little potential and might be worth exploring.
Please let me know what you think.