We have been following the legislative sausage as two competing pieces of knife legislation grind their way through Congress. The first, the Interstate Transport Act (ITA), is sponsored the American Knife and Tool Institute, and the Knife Rights sponsored Knife Owner Protection Act (KOPA). KOPA contains within it both a repeal of the Federal Switchblade Act. The ITA does not, though AKTI has since helped introduce a standalone bill which would do this. KOPA also contains language which closes the loophole which has allowed New York and New Jersey to thumb their noses at the Firearms Owner Protection Act – harassing and even arresting travelling gun-owners on multiple occasions. This language is known as a “right of action”, which is why we at TTAK have endorsed the Knife Owner Protection Act as our preferred bill before the United States Congress.
From Knife Rights:
Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) has introduced S.3264, the Knife Owners’ Protection Act of 2018 (KOPA) including repeal of the Federal Switchblade Act. This is a companion to the House KOPA bill, H.R.84, introduced last year. Originally conceived and authored by Knife Rights in 2010 and first introduced in 2013, KOPA will remove the irrational restrictions on interstate trade in automatic knives that are legal to one degree or another in 44 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.
Sen. Wicker said, “I am pleased to introduce the Knife Owners Protection Act. This legislation would provide law-abiding knife owners the appropriate protection when transporting knives across state lines. It would also repeal the antiquated Federal Switchblade Act. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to advance this sensible policy for knife owners”
Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, “We are proud to have Senator Wicker leading the KOPA effort in the Senate, a bill that will actually protect traveling knife owners and repeal the archaic and useless Federal Switchblade Act. It is clear that Senator Wicker understands the plight of knife owners placed in legal jeopardy by the patchwork of knife laws they encounter traveling in America.”
Unlike S.1092, the problematic and seriously inadequate Interstate Transport Act that was recently marked up in committee and which is being promoted by one segment of the industry, S.3264 and H.R. 84 include a robust Right of Action that would actually provide real protections for knife owners that need these protections the most.TAKE ACTION!We need your help to gain additional co-sponsors. Please call or email your Senators and Representative and urge them to co-sponsor this commonsense legislation.You can use Knife Rights Legislative Action Center to easily email Congress: CLICK HERE to email your Senators and Representative.Or, CLICK HERE to locate your Senators’ and Representative’ phone numbers. We have included a call script to make it easy.
A Right of Action provides for persons unlawfully detained for transporting their knives properly secured in compliance with the act to seek financial compensation from a jurisdiction that ignores the intent of Congress to protect these travels. Without a strong right of action, there is no deterrent-biased and rogue jurisdictions like New York and New Jersey would have no incentive to follow the law. In a state like New Jersey, where knife law violations are felonies, it is especially critical to dissuade them from prosecuting law-abiding citizens.
Lacking a Right of Action, acting with impunity, without fear of any meaningful recourse from their law-abiding victims, these rogue jurisdictions will further persecute citizens who attempt to defend themselves from illegal, and unjust or misguided enforcement actions. A robust right of action holds jurisdictions financially accountable if they willfully ignore the law. A strong right of action causes jurisdictions to consider these adverse repercussions before they arrest or prosecute an individual that is protected under the act.
Ritter said, “ignoring the unfortunate lessons of the past and passing a knife transport bill without a robust right of action would be unconscionable and an extraordinary disservice to knife owners and the entire knife community. KOPA’s right of action provides the teeth needed to actually give real protection to knife owners.”
Ritter added, “The Federal Switchblade Act was an asinine idea when it was passed in 1958 in a wave of Hollywood-inspired politically motivated hysteria and has only become more irrelevant as time has passed. The majority of states have always allowed switchblade possession and with Knife Rights’ repeal of switchblade bans in 15 states in the past eight years, more than four-fifths of the states now allow switchblade possession to one degree or another. It is way past time to repeal this law that only serves to interfere with lawful trade and commerce.”
A FAQ on KOPA with additional details and background can be found at: www.KnifeRights.org/KOPAFAQ2017.pdf
Knife Rights’ record of 29 bills repealing knife bans at the state and local levels in 21 states in the past 8 years is unrivaled. With your support, Knife Rights truly is forging a Sharper Future of all Americans™. Thanks for making all of this possible