Happy National Knife Day!

Today has been declared as National Knife Day! I know there seems to be day for everything but this is actually recognizing an essential tool.

A number of knife retailers will be offering specials and giveaways from what I understand. Check out your favorite retailer for more on that.

I prepared for today by getting a new knife sharpener. It isn’t like I don’t have a number of stones, guided sharpeners, and diamond plates. I do. However, I saw it on Amazon and the price was right so I bought the Work Shop Guided Field Sharpener.

It works. I took an old Camillus pocket knife couldn’t even cut paper and put a nice working edge on it rather quickly. Is it what a Japanese sushi chef might use to put a razor edge on a knife? No but then I didn’t have to invest in a series of water stones either. I think it will be a convenient tool to take when I go camping or hunting.

Given it is National Knife Day, the other way I plan to celebrate it is to make a contribution to Knife Rights. They have done more in the last few years to change outdated laws and expand our rights to carry a knife than any other organization. They have more work to do and every little bit of money helps.

Their donation page is here.

Cuomo Capitulates In New York And Signs Gravity Knife Bill

The third time is obviously the charm. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) signed AB 5944 which removed the vague term “gravity knife” from the Penal Code. Cuomo had vetoed two previous passed bills which would have changed the law. He signed this bill in the face of both Federal court rulings and the realization that the Supreme Court probably would have changed the law anyway.

From his signing message:

As I review this bill for a third time, the legal landscape has changed. In March of this
year, the United States District Court for the Southern District ofNew York declared the State’s
existing “gravity knife” ban unconstitutional. As argued by many who have advocated for this
change in law, the court reasoned that the existing law could result in arbitrary and
discriminatory enforcement.



While I remain aware of the cautious community voices, I cannot veto a bill passed by
the Legislature to address a decided constitutional infmnity in existing law, as recently affirmed
by a federal court. I remain confident that our law enforcement community will continue to keep
our communities safe by pursuing anyone who uses, or attempts to use, one of these knives in an
unlawful manner.

This is a huge win for Knife Rights who have been fighting in both the courts and in the New York State Assembly and Senate to rectify the injustices caused by the prior knife law. It is also a big loss for New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. who used the Penal Code to charge way too many honest people with violations of the gravity knife ban and who also used it to shake down a number of businesses.

Knife Rights was assisted in this battle by the New York Legal Aid Society whom they recognized in their statement below. Knife Rights is still warning people to be careful carrying a knife in NYC.

Nine years of hard work and effort, including eight years of
costly Federal litigation and the threat of losing big time at the U.S.
Supreme Court (see below), has finally convinced New York Governor
Andrew Cuomo to sign A5944,
repealing the state’s bans on Gravity Knives. Cuomo previously vetoed
two similar bills which Knife Rights Director of Legislative Affairs,
Todd Rathner, also worked on tirelessly in Albany.

Although the
bill leaves the definition of a gravity knife intact, the statutory
repeals make the knives legal, stripping New York City and District
Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. of their ability to continue to abuse the
definition of a gravity knife and continue to arrest and prosecute
people by claiming a common lock blade folding knife or utility knife is
an illegal gravity knife

The repeal is effective immediately.

Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, “After nine years fighting, it
is a relief to close the book on this extraordinary abuse of authority
by a corrupt system that has terrorized over 70,000 honest, law-abiding
people, disproportionately minorities, for simply carrying a common tool
used daily in their lives. I am thrilled that we and our partners
across the political spectrum in this fight have finally prevailed, but
it is a sad commentary on the state of politics and justice in New York
State, New York City and at the Second Circuit that it took this long
and that tens of thousands of innocent folks had to suffer so much for
so long.”

“This is a big win for Knife Rights, the people of New
York, and for the sponsors who tenaciously fought to get these
injustices stopped. I am very proud to have worked with them on the
ground in Albany as we fought so long to get this done,” said Rathner.
Knife Rights congratulates our longtime legislative allies in this
effort, sponsors Assemblymember Dan Quart and Senator Diane Savino, as
well as Senator Robert Jackson, for gaining unanimous approval of this
bill this time around and for helping to assemble the coalition of
diverse organizations and politicians who urged Cuomo to sign the bill
after two previous vetoes of similar overwhelmingly passed bills.

“No stage hand, no plumber, no maintenance worker, no office worker, no
New Yorker should have to risk their freedom to carry a tool because of
a vaguely worded 1950’s era statute,” said Assemblymember Dan Quart.
“I’m proud to have been a part of this unlikely and diverse coalition
that included public defenders, union members, criminal justice reform
advocates and Knife Rights. Knife Rights’ tenacious 9-year fight in
Federal court against this unjust and unconstitutional enforcement
scheme proved an important element in this struggle.”

We are very thankful for the support of our friends at The Legal Aid Society who have been on the front lines in this fight.

Legal Aid Society’s Martin LaFalce said, “Repealing New York’s gravity
knife statute has been a team effort with Legal Aid and Knife Rights
partnering to lead the charge. Governor Cuomo’s signature was clearly
influenced by Knife Rights determined litigation strategy and
partnership with Legal Aid. Together we exposed the wrist flick test as
constitutionally absurd and NYPD’s enforcement of the statute flagrantly
discriminatory.”

We’d also like to credit journalist Jon Campbell whose series of articles starting in 2014 in the Village Voice
publicized these abuses and helped immeasurably to catalyze public
support for a solution. Also credit to VICE News who more recently highlighted this issue and Knife Rights’ efforts to solve it to a broad audience, further arousing opposition to this abuse.

Unfortunately,
this is unlikely to be the end of knife owners being harassed by the
New York Police Department.  READ OUR WARNINGS BELOW on why knife owners
in New York and especially in New York City need to still be careful
about what knife they carry going forward and how they carry it in NYC.


Cuomo’s action on this bill came as briefing was completed in Knife Rights’ appeal of its federal civil rights case on these gravity knife arrests to the Supreme Court of the United States. With a strong case including a 4 to 1 circuit split against the Second Circuit on an important constitutional issue, three strong amicus briefs from across the political spectrum and, just recently, feeble and obfuscatory opposition briefs from NYC and DA, the possibility of Knife Rights’ case being heard increased significantly.

A conference to decide whether to take up this case is currently scheduled for June 13th.
A decision in favor of the plaintiffs against the City and DA Vance in
our case would make it much harder for the Second Circuit to abuse the
issue of vagueness, as they have in our case, to make other cases
opposed by these politicians go away, again, as they have also done
previously. That possibility was so concerning that even DA Vance, who
previously steadfastly opposed any reasonable solution and who is a
close confidant of Gov. Cuomo, reversed his prior opposition to the
Governor signing any bill that would stop his abuse.

As cited in the Governor’s signing statement, it didn’t hurt that in another case recently a Federal Judge in New York issued a very narrow ruling saying that the City’s “wrist
flick” test was, indeed, unconstitutional, although in limited
circumstances that did not substantially impact the ability of the City
and DA to continue the arrests and prosecutions
. That case relied
heavily on the briefs in our case. But, despite its serious limitations
and the fact that NYC and Vance were working around it, that decision
provided some public cover for Cuomo and Vance without revealing their
real fear, losing at the Supreme Court in our case. They hope the
signing of this bill will moot our case.

Even better for Vance,
if they don’t lose to us in court, Vance won’t be forced to pay our
million dollar legal bills for eight years of Federal litigation, which
he’d consider doubly painful on top of the embarrassing loss he’s
facing. (This is also painfully illustrative, by the way, as to why we
oppose the Interstate Transport Act (S.542) in the U.S. Senate because
is leaves individuals and other open to similar financial abuse while
providing the appearance of solving a problem that it does not
adequately accomplish.)

NOTE: The repeal also applies to true gravity knives, such as the German Paratrooper Knife that we demonstrated in Federal Court. Please note the WARNING below as to New York City.
In particular, some of these aforementioned true gravity knives have
blades that are 4-inches or longer and would not be legal in NYC.

WARNING! 
New York City Administrative Code still has an Under-4-inch Length
Limit and requires knives be carried COMPLETELY concealed.

Knife Rights recommends that you never carry your knife clipped to your pocket in New York City.
If you plan to carry a folding knife in New York City, we suggest that
if it has a pocket clip, you should remove it so you don’t inadvertently
clip it to your pocket after use. Even when covered by a jacket, simply
moving the jacket aside to get to a wallet has been enough to get folks
stopped. Always ensure your knife is completely concealed at all times,
including not “printing” on the outside of your clothing. In addition,
be extremely circumspect about using a knife for any purpose in a public
setting. Knife Rights suggests that you never carry a knife with a 4-inch or longer blade in NYC.


NOTE:
While there is nothing in the Administrative Code compelling or
allowing seizure of the knife in question, invariably the knife will be
taken by the officer and chances of it being returned are very low. In
cases where it has been returned is has taken months of effort and often
use of an attorney. Knife Rights  recommends that you never carry a
valuable knife in NYC or one you would not want to lose.  Knife Rights
strongly suggests that you not resist the officer seizing your knife as
that can lead to more serious legal complications.

For more information on New York City’s Administrative Code with regards to knives: https://kniferights.org/legislative-update/new-york-city-administrative-code-knives/
For more information on what to do when stopped or arrested: https://kniferights.org/if-arrested/
WARNING: Assisted-Opening Knives may be considered illegal Switchblade Knives in New York State.

On June 10, 2018, the highest court in New York State upheld the conviction of an individual in possession of an assisted-opening (spring-assisted) folding knife that
he used in his work under the theory that it was an illegal switchblade
knife under New York law. Essentially, this decision redefined what a
switchblade is under New York State law to include assisted opening
(spring-assisted) knives. This decision applies to the entire state, not
just New York City.  The New York Police Department and DA Vance have
since been prosecuting those caught with assisted-opening knives as
having illegal switchblades. Knife Rights recommends that you do not carry an assisted-opening knife in New York. 

One Day Of The New Congress And There Are Already Gun Bills

The 116th Congress has been in session for little more than a day and we already are seeing gun bills. However, they aren’t all bad. There is even a good knife bill proposed. However, I imagine the really bad ones are in the pipeline. I’m sure Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), the Carolyn McCarthy of Georgia and a card carrying Demanding Mom, will have a bill sooner or later.

The Good

HR 38 – Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) – This is a reintroduced version of his national reciprocity bill and it even has the same number as last time. 90 co-sponsors.

HR 88 – Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) – To protect the right of law-abiding citizens to transport knives interstate, notwithstanding a patchwork of local and State prohibitions, and to repeal Federal provisions related to switchblade knives which burden citizens. 4 Co-sponsors.

HR 155 – Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) – This bill would remove silencers or suppressors from the definition of firearms. I am presuming this means that they would also be removed from the requirements of the National Firearms Act of 1934. 23 co-sponsors.

HR 175 – Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) – To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition. I think this means an updating of FOPA 86 to provide more protection for travelers who have firearms. 0 c0-sponsors.

HR 189 – Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R- MO) – To provide requirements for the appropriate Federal banking agencies when requesting or ordering a depository institution to terminate a specific customer account, and for other purposes. The intent of this bill is to end Operation Choke Point. 0 Co-sponsors.

The Bad

HR 33 – Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) – To increase public safety by punishing and deterring firearms trafficking. (Somehow I don’t think Rep. Rush means the gangbangers and their girlfriends on the southside of Chicago). 0 Co-sponsors.

HR 49 – Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) – To require the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to report to the Congress semiannually on the number of firearms transfers resulting from the failure to complete a background check within 3 business days, and the procedures followed after it is discovered that a firearm transfer has been made to a transferee who is ineligible to receive a firearm. Presumably this was inspired by the Charleston church murders. 0 Co-sponsors.

HR 157 – Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) – To repeal the provisions of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act prohibiting the bringing of qualified civil liability actions in Federal or State court. 0 Co-sponsors.

HR 167 – Rep. Al Green (D-TX) – To prohibit the transfer of a firearm at a gun show by a person who is not a licensed dealer. Presumably closing the non-existent gun show loophole. 1 Co-sponsor.

S 7 – Sen. Marco Rubio – (R-FL) – A bill to provide family members of an individual who they fear is a danger to himself, herself, or others, or law enforcement, with new tools to prevent gun violence. This is the first of the Red Flag laws promised. 3 Co-sponsors.

The Rest

HR 110 – Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) – To provide an exception to certain mandatory minimum sentence requirements for a person employed outside the United States by a Federal agency, who uses, carries, or possesses the firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence committed while on-duty with a firearm required to be carried while on-duty. 0 Co-sponsors.

There have been 321 bills or resolutions introduced as of yesterday according to Congress.gov. If I missed any anti-gun bill that was introduced, please list the bill number in the comments.

UPDATE: HR 207 – Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-MD) – To amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a grant program supporting trauma centers with violence intervention and violence prevention programs, and for other purposes. (Given his anti-gun stance, this bill should probably be in the bad column.)

Knife Rights Will Appeal NY “Gravity Knife” Case To SCOTUS

Knife Rights has announced that they will appeal their long-running case against New York over the definition of gravity knives to the Supreme Court. The case centers around common folding knives that have been the target of enforcement by the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney. The victims of this unjust definition have usually been trades people and minorities.

From Knife Rights on their plan to appeal:

Knife Rights’ NYC Gravity Knife Case Appeal Headed To U.S. Supreme Court

Knife
Rights is going forward with an appeal to the Supreme Court of the
United States of the Second Circuit’s decision in favor of New York City
and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. in our long running civil rights
lawsuit over their persecution of pocket knife owners.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg last week granted us a 60-day extension
until January 13th, 2019, for submission of our petition for a writ of
certiorari asking the Court to hear our appeal.

While our
lawsuit against New York City and DA Vance centers on their abusive
enforcement of New York State’s gravity knife ban against owners of
common pocket knives, the focus changes somewhat as it moves to the
Supreme Court. Keep in mind that the Supreme Court does not generally
agree to hear a case just because any particular decision in a case is
unjust, irrational or just plain terrible, all of which describe this
ruling in spades.

Beyond settling major constitutional issues,
the Court will sometimes choose to resolve differences in the
application of Federal law among different Federal circuit courts when
its decisions are not applied the same throughout the U.S. The Second
Circuit panel’s ruling regarding our constitutional vagueness claim in
this case opens up that possibility with starkly split decisions between
it and other circuits, as well as splits between a number of state
courts. The writ explains why this case is important and worthy of the
Court’s limited time.

A Supreme Court decision to hear the case
could affect the implementation and enforcement of a wide spectrum of
laws to persons throughout the U.S. It is no longer just about these
common folding knives. New York City’s enforcement of the state’s
gravity knife law against common folding knives is now the vehicle to
answer the bigger constitutional question at issue. Only if the Supreme
Court accepts the case do we get to argue the merits of our particular
case as it reflects this bigger issue.

It’s always long odds for
any case to be accepted by the Supreme Court. However, not making the
attempt ensures we lose. And, that would allow very bad precedent to be
set in stone.

Taking a case to Supreme Court is an expensive
proposition, more so for a small organization like Knife Rights. We
still need to raise significant funds for this effort if we don’t want
to hand a victory to New York Governor Cuomo, DA Vance andr New York
City Mayor de Blasio

Please consider a year-end TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation to Knife Rights to support our efforts at the Supreme Court.  Donate at:  www.kniferights.org/donate/foundation

People v Berrezueta – More Knife Law Lunacy From New York

The New York Court of Appeals is the highest appellate court in the state of New York. They decided a case last week that is very problematic to everyone who owns an assisted-opening knife in the state. In the case of People v. Berrezueta they declared in a 6-1 decision that a spring-assisted opening knife is a switchblade within the definition of the New York’s penal code. The dissent by Judge Jenny Rivera disagreed strongly and pointed out the deficiencies in the majority’s argument.

Doug Ritter has more in an alert he sent out this morning:

URGENT New York State WARNING
Are Assisted-Openers Now Illegal Switchblades ?


As if New York wasn’t already a confusing legal and regulatory nightmare for honest, law-abiding knife owners, the highest court in the state just upheld, in a one paragraph opinion, the conviction of a person in possession of an assisted opening (spring-assisted) folding knife under the theory that it was an illegal switchblade knife under New York law.


The decision was overwhelming, 6 to 1, but it’s worth noting the excellent dissent by Judge Jenny Rivera which is detailed, analytical, logical and very well-reasoned.


Click here to read the decision including her brilliant dissent.


Assisted opening folding knives are widely and routinely carried by millions of law abiding individuals, and given the momentous nature of this decision, certainly affecting hundreds of thousands of pocket knife owners in New York State, a review of the briefs suggests that the seriousness of the issues at stake was not presented to the court. The prosecution fundamentally mischaracterized the nature of the knife as being a switchblade. The significant and fundamental differences between a switchblade and the assisted-opening folder the defendant was carrying were not before the Court.


In addition to completely redefining what a knife’s handle is, essentially eliminating the difference between the handle and the blade, the Court disregarded the fundamental difference in how the two types of knives operate – switchblades being automatic (an essential element of the definition) while assisted-openers are not.


Given that this confusion goes against clear historical precedent and that nobody in the real world is likely to interpret that statute in that manner, it creates a trap for all knife owners who would rationally never consider an assisted-opening folder to be a switchblade, especially if they were intimately familiar with plain wording of New York’s switchblade statue.

265.00 Weapons Crimes – Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons
Definitions


4. “Switchblade Knife” means any knife which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in the handle of the knife. (emphasis ours)

Regardless of whether we win our current civil rights case against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. over their unconstitutionally vague gravity knife prosecutions of those carrying common folding knives, the hundreds of thousands of knife owners who possess an assisted-opening folding knife anywhere in New York state could now be liable to being prosecuted for simply possessing a per se (inherently) illegal switchblade under §265.01, which is a serious crime, a fourth degree misdemeanor with a potential penalty of a year in jail. And, as we have seen far too often in our Federal gravity knife case, anyone who has had a prior conviction, even decades ago, is likely to have the charge against them upgraded to a felony with potentially years of jail time and loss of civil rights.


Actually carrying an assisted-opener will certainly raise the likelihood of arrest and prosecution.


At this juncture we must warn anyone living in New York State, or who visits or travels through New York State, that you risk arrest and jail if you carry an assisted-opening folding knife. Retailers within New York State may want to consider their potential criminal liability in continuing to sell assisted-opening knives.


We’ll certainly be looking to find a solution to this problematic decision, but for now, discretion is the better part of valor with regards to assisted-opening folders in New York State.


And, just to be clear, this assisted-opener issue that covers the entire state of New York is entirely separate from New York City’s gravity knife arrests and prosecutions; as well as New York City’s administrative code prohibiting open carry of a knife (including being clipped to a pocket or “printing”) and its under 4-inch blade length limit. Details at: https://kniferights.org/legislative-update/new-york-city-administrative-code-knives/

VICE News On Doug Ritter And Knife Rights

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I stumbled across this short video yesterday on Reddit. It is an episode of HBO’s VICE News that features Doug Ritter and Knife Rights. It is surprisingly well done and even more surprisingly pro-knife. VICE News talks about the founding of Knife Rights, their success in many states, and then concentrates on the problems with New York City’s “gravity knife” law.

One aspect that is brought out is that the fight against unjust laws can have unlikely allies. As an attorney with  NYC’s Legal Aid Society put it, he never thought “in a million years that he’d be working with a Second Amendment group on a criminal justice issue.”

Knife Rights Moves To Reform Knife Laws In Michigan

Last year Knife Rights succeeded in getting Michigan’s switchblade ban repealed. This year they are seeking to repeal the ban on the concealed carry of specifically excluded knives.

From Knife Rights:

On the heals of last year’s enactment of Knife Rights’ switchblade ban repeal in Michigan, Representative Steven Johnson has introduced HB 5512 to removed all the knives prohibited from concealed carry in Michigan statute.

Sec. 227. (1) would be removed entirely from Michigan’s penal code:
“A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged
nonfolding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous
weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on
or about his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any
vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her
dwelling house,  place of business or on other land possessed by the
person.”

We will let you know when it’s time to contact your legislator on this bill. Stay tuned.

Knife Rights’ record
of 28 bills repealing knife bans at the state and local levels in 20
states in the past 8 years is unrivaled. With your support, Knife Rights
is rewriting knife law in America™.

Knife Check Offered By Knife Rights For NRA Leadership Forum

If you are attending the NRA Annual Meeting and plan on attending Friday’s Leadership Forum, you need to remember that Secret Service rules are in effect. In other words, you won’t be allowed to carry concealed nor will you be allowed to have a knife on your person because the President will be in the attendance.

Last year Knife Rights set up a knife check system and they will again be offering it. As a bonus, if you check your knife with them you could win a new custom knife.

From their newsletter:





Knife Rights FREE Knife Check at NRA for Trump Speech 







Knife Rights is pleased to be able to again provide a FREE Knife Check
to NRA Annual Meeting attendees who are going to hear President Trump
speak at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum next Friday in Atlanta.  Last year
we checked over 2,600 knives in Louisville when then-candidate Trump
spoke.



Again this year, Hogue Knives has generously donated a very nice prize
that all those who check their knives will be eligible to win.  This
year it’s a Damascus X5 Flipper that has been custom ground by Allen
Elishewitz, valued at $500.  Attendees who bring their Knife Check Claim
Stub to the Knife Rights Booth #3717 will be entered to win.

Click here for more information on the NRA-ILA Freedom Forum or to get tickets. 

Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge there won’t be any similar gun check system for those carrying concealed. Tom Lindsay at the Fill Yer Hands blog mentioned that Georgia Carry had considered it and then discarded the idea as too expensive and complicated.

Knife Law Reform In New York Must Wait Another Year

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) ignored the overwhelming support in both houses of the New York Assembly for reform of New York’s gravity knife law and vetoed the bill today. The bill had the support of groups such as the NAACP and the ACLU who normally would not support a pro-2A bill. In this case, they saw the harm that the existing law caused for the average New Yorker.

I guess I could make a joke about Cuomo getting confused on what he was supposed to do after indulging in one too many of girlfriend Sandra Lee’s cocktails but what he did was give the average New Yorker the finger.

Knife Rights has the full story below.

Cuomo Sides with NYC Pols – Gives Finger to the People 




Waiting until the last possible moment, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed Knife Rights’ Gravity Knife and Switchblade Reform Bill,
effectively giving the finger to New York’s legislature that
overwhelmingly passed the bill and the large coalition of organizations,
many part of his own constituency, which supported the bill. Despite
the thousands who called and emailed the Governor to sign the bill, and
thanks very much for those who did so, he sided with the disingenuous
arguments made by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner
James O’Neill and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., virtually the only
ones who opposed the bill. In vetoing this bill he has potentially
doomed thousands more to arrest and prosecution for carrying common
pocket knives that won’t get someone arrested virtually anywhere except
in New York City.

Despite Cuomo’s avowed commitment to criminal justice reform in New York, this veto clearly shows the lie to that claim.
Next year’s session of the New York Legislature is almost
upon us and we’ll be back again working to fix the state’s Gravity Knife
law to prevent these arrests and prosecutions. This bill passed with
such large majorities in both houses of the legislature that an override
of a veto is theoretically possible.

Meanwhile, our five-year-old Federal civil rights lawsuit over the constitutionality of New York City’s “wrist flick” test awaits a decision which could settle the issue for certain.

Happy Birthday Knife Rights

Today is the 10th birthday for Knife Rights. We owe a debt of gratitude to Doug Ritter for taking the initiative to form the organization. The post below tells about the article that inspired him to take action and the successes that they have had over the last 10 years.

July 25, 2016: Knife Rights was born ten years ago today after I read an outrageous and highly inflammatory article headlining the Wall Street Journal, entitled “How New, Deadly Pocketknives Became a $1 Billion Business” demonizing so-called “tactical knives.” A discredit to the Journal, the overwrought and sensationalist article was filled with distortions, misrepresentations, innuendo, outright lies and cherry-picked quotes pushing a transparent rabid anti-weapon and anti-freedom agenda. But, the story didn’t quite spark the anti-knife response the reporter probably hoped for — in fact, it had precisely the opposite effect.

Reading that article I became incensed at the blatant, misguided attack on our everyday tools. I realized that there was no NRA for knife owners. There was no aggressive, proactive grassroots organization working to stop the U.S. from sinking into the anti-knife, anti-freedom pit that already exists in Europe and the U.K.


That article ignited a new civil rights movement. Over the past decade Knife Rights has literally rewritten knife law in America. More knives and more freedom couldn’t have been further from his objective, but that’s exactly what he got. Thank you, Wall Street Journal.


One wonders what the editors were thinking when they chose to illustrate that fateful article with their poster child for evil and dangerous “tactical knives” – a diminutive Buck Knives “Metro” lock-blade keychain folding knife / bottle opener with a 1.125-inch one-hand opening blade. In any case, it demonstrates the absurd idiocy of assigning malevolence to an inanimate object based on physical characteristics. No knife is inherently “deadly” — that’s an irrational and nonsensical label.


A cornerstone of Knife Rights’ principles is that inanimate objects like knives must be used by someone against another in order to become deadly weapons. Even then, often they are used for self-defense, not offensively. Knives are simply essential everyday tools used by millions of Americans at home, at work and at play and occasionally they are “arms” used to protect a life. Removing knives from statutory lists of per se (intrinsically) “deadly weapons” is an ongoing goal of Knife Rights.


We formally founded Knife Rights in December of 2006, adopting the slogan “A Sharper Future™ as our objective. The foundation for Knife Rights was expressed as “Essential Tools – Essential Rights™.”


It took a few years to get our legs under us, but in 2009 Knife Rights provided the key grassroots knife owner’s component of a coalition of groups that opposed U.S. Customs’ efforts to redefine a switchblade to include these same one-hand opening knives. The end result was that Congress passed a fifth exception to the Federal Switchblade Act that protected one-hand opening and assisted-opening folding knives.


Springboarding off that success, in 2010 we began our efforts to rewrite knife law at the state level. Knife Rights passed the nation’s first ever outright repeal of a state knife ban (switchblades, dirks, daggers and stilettos) in New Hampshire and the nation’s first ever Knife Law Preemption bill in Arizona, ridding the state of its inconsistent patchwork of local knife restrictions. This proved all the naysayers wrong; those who said it couldn’t be done.


It was, indeed, possible to repeal switchblade and other knife bans. Having proved those defeatists wrong, we have never looked back. Since 2010 we have been going gangbusters, proving again and again that Knife Rights can do what was once though impossible:

21 PRO-KNIFE BILLS PASSED IN 15 STATES!

Alaska ● Arizona ● Georgia ● Indiana ● Kansas ● Maine ● Missouri ● Nevada
New Hampshire ● Oklahoma ● Tennessee ● Texas ● Utah ● Washington ● Wisconsin

8 ANTI-KNIFE BILLS STOPPED!

Florida ● Maryland ● New Jersey ● New York ● Nevada ● Washington



Knife Rights has also been active in federal and state courts protecting and advancing knife owners’ rights. Never backing down from a challenge, our first lawsuit filed five years ago took on New York City’s persecution of retailers and tens of thousands of knife owners carrying common pocketknives. While that lawsuit is still ongoing, we’ve been involved in one way or another with a dozen other lawsuits or trials where knife owners’ rights were imperiled. We have been on the prevailing side in every one!


Knife Rights is The One Getting It Done™ for knife owners in America. With the generous support of many of you reading this, our success is unprecedented, unparalleled and unrivaled.


However, we cannot rest on our past wins. The fight continues and it takes money to accomplish what we do. Your donations are the engine that drives us forward.