Rogers, AR (PRWEB) October 29, 2009
Concerned that everyday pocketknives and one-hand opening knives were in jeopardy of being illegal to use, the American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) led the fight to change the 50-year old Federal Switchblade Act.
Thankfully, folding pocketknives permitted in your state are still legal to use. A very important amendment (1447) to the FY 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill H.R. 2892 was passed by the House of Representatives and approved by the U.S. Senate on October 20th. After nearly five months of intense AKTI-led legal and lobbying efforts, the bill including modernizing the Federal Switchblade was signed by the President October 28th. It's now law! http://www.akti.org
"Very active support came from Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, Senator Orin Hatch of Utah, Senator John Cornyn of Texas and many other federal lawmakers in making a change to the 1958 Switchblade Act that will clearly protect the rights of more than 35 million knife owners and users to carry the folding knives that are important tools in their everyday lives," reports Goldie Russell, President of A.G. Russell Knives, Rogers, AR and President of the American Knife & Tool Institute.
From 2005-2008, U.S. Customs issued four separate ruling letters that declared assisted-openers were not switchblades and could be imported. Then in May 2009 Customs proposed to revoke those earlier letters and included new definitions of a switchblade knife. These definitions were so broad that AKTI feared virtually every folding knife would become illegal under interstate commerce rules.
AKTI responded by arousing an entire industry. They created a coalition of concerned groups including the NRA, the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, and Knife Rights; reached out to millions of ordinary, law-abiding citizens who are regular knife users; and allied with lawmakers who recognized the threat to folding knife owners.
AKTI, a 12-year old organization that represents knife owners and every segment of the sporting knife industry, estimates more than 35 million law-abiding Americans carry and use folding knives. They range from emergency workers, sportsmen, construction workers, to hikers and gardeners. The social impact would have been huge. http://www.akti.org
"The sporting knife industry could not have accomplished this in less than five months without an organization in place, clear and repeated calls to action and concerned citizens willing to reach out to legislators. AKTI member companies made direct contacts with lawmakers of both parties," declared Mrs. Russell.
U.S. Customs became a supporter of Senate Amendment 1447 co-sponsored by 20 U.S. Senators. Amendment 1447 adds a fifth clause to section 1244 of the Federal Switchblade Act that exempts "a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist or arm to overcome the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife."
"As a practical matter, U.S. Customs recognized that the clarification would actually help their field agents more easily evaluate knives with multiple and unique modern design features," said Jan Billeb, AKTI Executive Director.
The Senate amendment essentially adopted the switchblade exception language that the American Knife & Tool Institute sponsored in Texas and was signed by Texas Governor Perry on June 18, 2009. AKTI has been working in several different states to clarify knife laws.
Remember, if you own, carry or use any type of folding knife, you are still bound by the statutes governing them in your state. You are responsible to know what they are.
For more details visit http://www.akti.org