For some reason or another, legislative bodies like to to pass legislation with “sunrise delays” where they will either legalize or criminalize something, but it was of such vital importance that it goes into effect at some arbitrary date in the future. It was like that for Tennessee knife freedom, and it is the case in Maine as well.
A law that was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor in April does not go into effect until 90 days after the legislature adjourns. In this case, LD 264 (HB 182), which legalizes automatic knives for all persons (in 2011 an exemption for one-armed individuals was codified), will go into effect October 15th, 2015, the legislature having adjourned on July 16th.
The legislation was introduced by freshman State Representative Joel Stetkis, an outdoorsman and carpenter who really hits a homerun with this quote:
“I am trying to break the paradigm in most people’s mind that this is not about ‘switchblades’ because this is about valuable tools that a majority of law abiding Mainers use on a daily basis. In today’s America, there are hundreds of knife designs used by Firefighters, EMT’s, commercial fishermen, rafting guides, carpenters, electricians and many others that can benefit from these tools. But, due to the way these tools open, they are deemed dangerous weapons under current law,” Rep. Joel Stetkis.
The above quote is from AKTI.org, the trade group for the knife industry. You can read more about the legislation here. We thank Rep Stetkis and applaud his work to correct prior legislative injustice.
I have been enjoying testing the Gerber Propel, my first automatic. I never thought I would develop a fondness for assisted-openers and autos but I definitely have. I still prefer a fixed blade over either.