Knife Rights calls themselves the Second Front in the fight for the Second Amendment and they are correct. They scored a big win in the state of Georgia recently concerning preemption. Unlike in the firearms world where state preemption is the norm rather than the exception, it is just the opposite when it comes to knives. Such was the case of Georgia which is home to the Blade Show.
With encouragement from your phone calls, emails and letters, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has signed the single most important bill for knife owners and the knife industry to pass this year. With his signature, Knife Rights’ drafted SB432 establishes knife law preemption in Georgia, effectively repealing draconian restrictions on knife ownership, sales and manufacturing in cities like Atlanta, home of BLADE Show, the world’s largest knife show.
For years the BLADE Show has literally been operating on the “knife’s edge”of the law because even though it takes place in Cobb County, where there are very few restrictions on knives, right across the street in the city of Atlanta, where many BLADE Show attendees go to eat, sleep and recreate, there are onerous laws against knives and knife owners.
These local ordinances banned the possession of all sorts of knives readily available and often carried at the BLADE Show including a prohibition against carry of any automatic or any knife with a blade longer than three-inches “readily available for use.” An attendee or exhibitor could easily have run afoul of these ordinances and faced fines and jail time. The potential existed to create terrible publicity that could have jeopardized the knife world’s most important annual show! With the signing of Knife Rights drafted Knife Law Preemption bill, those threats are now eliminated.
Our thanks to the members and supporters of Knife Rights who made their support known to the legislature and governor and to the bill sponsors, Georgia Senator Bill Heath and Georgia Representative David Knight. Also, a special thank you to Governor Nathan Deal for signing this important legislation.
Having said all that, one word of caution! Please note that this new Knife Preemption Law does not go into effect until July 1, 2012, so BLADE Show attendees should remain cautious this year as the old laws remain in effect until July 1st.
Congratulations are in order for Doug Ritter, Todd Rathner, and all who worked so hard to bring preemption to Georgia.