June 30, 2009

Congressional Sportsmen Foundation Urges Withdrawal Of Proposed Ban On Assisted Opening Knives

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus urged U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on June 19 to withdraw the notice of proposed revocation of treatment relating to the admissibility of certain knives with spring-assisted opening mechanisms by the Office of Customs and Border Patrol.

The proposed regulation could have severe implications on all knives, not just assisted-opening knives, and would designate these knives as switchblades, although the federal law definition does not declare these types of knives as such.

The Switchblade Knife Act of 1958 as amended by Congress, and as codified in 15 U.S.C. Section 1241, clearly sets forth the definition of a "switchblade" as...any knife having a blade which opens automatically (1) by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or (2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

Sog's Twitch XL Tanto with Assisted Technology opening would be one knife affected by the ban. It affords ambidextrous one-handed opening. Blade length: 3.25”. MSRP $140.

"This classification could render millions of law-abiding knife owners in violation of the law and expose major market retailers, manufacturers, dealers and importers subject to possible federal felony charges, and could drive domestic manufacturers and importers out of business, potentially costing thousands of jobs," said CSC Member Rep. Bob Latta.

The intent of this regulation is to re-interpret the word "inertia" so as to cover all knives using a spring (even a Boy Scout knife or multi-tool has one that maintains a knife's inherent bias toward closure) and contradicts the intent of Congress. There is clearly no language in the statute describing these assisted-opening and one-hand-opening knives, all of which are in the same class mechanically. This proposal also contradicts the intent of the legislatures in many states.

Court cases in several states such as California, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas, have all ruled in favor of assisted-opening and one-hand opening knives not being switchblades because they do not possess the activating button or device on the handle of the knife.

"These knives are used not only by sportsmen, but also by police, firemen, skilled trade workers and others," said Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation President Jeff Crane. "The Office of Customs and Border Patrol proposed revocation does not identify any specific intrinsic health and public safety concerns which it is purportedly trying to protect by this new designation."

Comments (5)

I'm a little confused. Is the spring loaded mechanism what causes most of the trauma in knife wounds or is it the blade? Does a fast opening knive protrude further into the body cavity? I believe physics would suggest the force behind the knife and the sharpness of the blade is the cause of the trauma. If you trace the motion back through the knife, up the arm and into the beginning stage, you would find the action started with a thought. Let's not address the problem where it starts.

Posted by: JWallace | July 6, 2009 11:24 PM    Report this comment

It's already happening in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. They're even talking about banning pointed kitchen knives!


Posted by: Lee W | July 5, 2009 7:28 PM    Report this comment

This was predicted by several 2nd Amendment advocates that the government will do this once they start trying to take away our rights to legally own firearms.

Posted by: TODD C | July 5, 2009 12:49 PM    Report this comment

Get the disabled involved, if you don't have full use of both hands, this is a convienent way to have a useful knife. Of course the nanny state may not like folks with different abilities doing things for themselves. John

Posted by: jdaly | July 2, 2009 2:13 PM    Report this comment

Our nannys don't want us having guns, now they don't want us having knives. What's next? No rocks? No sticks? Mandatory sentencing for hard knuckles?

Posted by: CeltKnight | July 2, 2009 9:10 AM    Report this comment

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