By Dean Weingarten
Congressman Matt Salmon from Arizona has filed the Knife Owners Protection Act (KOPA) in the 2015 session of Congress. KOPA would extend to knives the protections afforded to firearm owners in the Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA) of 1986. If a person may legally own a knife where he started his travel, and may legally own it at the end point, he would be protected in possessing it at points in between . . .
(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any provision of
8 any law or any rule or regulation of the United States,
9 or of a State or any political subdivision of a State, any
10 person who is not otherwise prohibited by Federal law
1 from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a
2 knife or knives shall be entitled to transport a knife or
3 knives from any place where such person may lawfully pos-
4 sess, carry or transport such a knife or knives to any other
5 place where such person may lawfully possess, carry or
6 transport such a knife or knives if—
The law corrects some of the oversights in the FOPA legislation by explicitly protecting overnight stays, stops for fuel and food, and for any stop reasonably connected with the travel. It also allows for civil action against officials who ignore the law and arrest or prosecute individuals who are following the law, under provisions similar to 18 U.S.C. Knife Rights says this about the bill:
“Originally authored by Knife Rights and first introduced by Representative Salmon in the last session of Congress, Knife Rights developed the Knife Owners’ Protection Act to address this absurd situation in a commonsense manner that is fair and equitable and is based on established legislative and legal precedent,” Ritter noted, “we’ve fought hard to defend the right to carry a knife in the individual states, cities and towns, but KOPA represents a key initiative to protect law-abiding knife owners simply passing through areas like New York City where possessing the most commonly owned pocket knife in America today, the one-hand opening folding knife, may result in arrest and prosecution.”
Over the last century of progressive rule, numerous knife laws have proliferated among thousands of local governments, making travel a legal minefield for people who carry simple, everyday tools. In New York City, 60,000 people have been arrest in the past decade for simply carrying common pocket knives.
No doubt the laws were passed with the assurance that police officers and prosecutors would use discretion and only prosecute “bad guys.” But what happens when a greedy or ambitious prosecutor discovers that he has a gold mine at this disposal, as happened in NYC? There, the prosecutor is running what amounts to a protection racket. A retailer that carries commonly available pocket knives is told that if he doesn’t stop selling the product, he will be charged. The charge will be dropped if he makes a “contribution” to the prosecutor’s pet “public education fund” that is completely controlled by the prosecutor.
Among the dozen or so businesses that have reported to have been targeted in New York City are Eastern Mountain Sports, Orvis, Paragon Sports, Lowe’s and Home Depot. At least one out-of-state Internet retailer has been targeted.
You can view one of a number of news articles and images of the DA’s Thursday afternoon news conference (held after this initial Knife Rights new release was sent out) here: http://bit.ly/ar7FLT
The six-figure so-called “contributions” are being made to a “public education fund” controlled by the DA in order to secure “deferred prosecution” agreements to avoid threatened criminal charges. Additional outrageous and over-reaching demands have also apparently been made to avoid prosecution.
Even the Village Voice has come out against this sort of prosecutorial misconduct.
Second amendment friendly states are not immune. Before Arizona passed its knife preemption statute in 2010, a major city in the Phoenix metroplex outlawed the carry of any knife with more than a 1.5 inch blade!
Knives are clearly arms protected by the U.S. Constitution. This legislation is a good first step in the direction of restoring those Constitutional rights.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch