American Knife & Tool Institute Applauds Passage of the Knife Owners’ Protection Act by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

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Committee Passes Legislation to Protect Lawful Knife Owners Traveling from State to State

“I appreciate the work of the American Knife and Tool Institute, which has helped build momentum for moving this bill forward,” Wyden said

The American Knife & Tool Institute (http://www.AKTI.org) - supported bill to ensure federal protection for lawful knife owners traveling between states has cleared another hurdle as the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee unanimously passed the commonsense Knife Owners Protection Act (KOPA). The bipartisan legislation, led by U.S. Senators Mike Enzi, R-WY, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, addresses the current patchwork of state and local knife laws, which have increasingly presented problems to lawful knife owners during interstate travel. The legislation, S. 1315, is co-sponsored by Senators Mike Lee, R-UT, Joe Manchin, D-WV, John Thune, R-SD, and Martin Heinrich, D-NM.

Under current U.S. code, lawful gun owners are allowed to transport firearms legal in both the state of origin and the state of destination, provided they are properly stored and in accordance with all federal restrictions. However, no such protection currently exists for knife owners wishing to transport knives to and from states in which they are legal, but through jurisdictions with varying requirements. KOPA would allow legal interstate travel for knives, provided the knives are transported to and from states where the law allows possession of said knives, and they are transported in closed containers.

“With this legislation passing out of committee, we are one step closer to providing the protection that knife owners need to ensure they can travel without fear of prosecution,” said Senator Enzi. “With thousands of knife laws across the country, this common sense bill would defend the rights of knife owners.”

“I appreciate the work of the American Knife and Tool Institute, which has helped build momentum for moving this bill forward,” Wyden said. “Senator Enzi and I will continue working to get this commonsense bill through the Senate and passed into law to allow knife owners who follow the rules to transport their property without added hassle between places where it’s legal to own knives.”

Since its inception, AKTI (http://www.AKTI.org) has served as the go-to resource for knife owners looking to ensure that they comply with all local, state, and federal laws related to knives. One of the biggest complaints and points of confusion AKTI hears about from lawful knife owners involves the interstate transport of knives. While citizens are making every effort to comply with patchwork state and local laws, it has become clear that there is the need for a federal protection for sportsmen, hunters, and other law-abiding knife owners that does not interfere with state and local restrictions on knife use.

“In addition to massive confusion over conflicting knife possession and transportation laws, over recent years, we have had an increasing number of cases brought to our attention where individuals who are trying to abide by the law are stopped or detained as a result of patchwork, complex, and conflicting laws,” said AKTI Executive Director, Jan Billeb. “But with the steadfast support and hard work from our champions, Senators Enzi and Wyden, we are one step closer to a bipartisan, commonsense solution to the problem. AKTI is grateful for their leadership in the issue, and the commitment to ensuring protection for all lawful citizens. We are confident that under the guidance of Senators Enzi and Wyden, KOPA will enjoy bipartisan support as the legislation reaches the floor of the Senate.”

KOPA is an important key to protecting everyone who travels with knives. It will allow citizens to transport knives over state lines for lawful purposes, and put an end to the massive confusion that currently surrounds the issue. The passage of KOPA by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is one step closer to replacing the burden of knife users of trying to know, understand and comply with several states’ laws with these reasonable regulations:

  • Knife users may transport their knives by normal travel including overnight stops, common carrier misrouting or delays, and other emergency or normal stops related to a journey through states (provided there is no intent to commit a punishable offense);
  • Knives may not be directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the motor vehicle. If there is no compartment separate from the passenger compartment, then the knife must be in a closed container, glove compartment or console;
  • If transported other than by motor vehicle, a knife must be in a closed container;
  • An individual may carry an emergency knife or tool that has a blunt tipped safety blade or guarded blade, or both, for cutting seat belts. That type of knife or tool does not need to be locked;
  • KOPA does not apply to the transport of a knife in an aircraft where passengers are subject to screening by TSA.

ABOUT: The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) has been the advocacy voice of the entire knife community since 1998, ensuring that Americans will always be able to make, buy, sell, own, carry and use knives and edged tools. AKTI is recognized worldwide as a respected, credible and accurate source of knife legislation information, legislative input, and industry information with a successful, proven record of accomplishments in making effective changes to restrictive knife laws and promoting reasonable and responsible laws and enforcement. For more information visit http://www.AKTI.org

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Jan Billeb - Executive Director
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