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Committee Passes Legislation to Protect Lawful Knife Owners Traveling from State to State
Cody, WY (May 29, 2015) – The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI)-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 passed the commonsense Knife Owners Protection Act (KOPA) with broad support. 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 commonsense 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 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 their 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 on knife users of trying to know, understand and comply with several states’ laws with these reasonable regulations:
More About AKTI
The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) is a non-profit organization (501(c)6) representing all segments of the knife industry and all knife users. Formed in true grassroots fashion by concerned industry leaders after considerable discussion with individual knifemakers, knife magazine publishers, and a broad section of the knife community, AKTI has been the reasonable and responsible voice of the knife community since 1998. AKTI’s mission is to ensure that Americans will always be able to make, buy, sell, own, carry and use knives and edged tools. To learn more, please visit www.akti.org.
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