We serve as the voice of the knife community and advocate on its behalf. We are a watchdog of knife legislation and actively work to change restrictive knife laws. We are the credible and respected source of information about knife laws and knives as tools for knife owners, knife businesses, legislators, law enforcement, regulatory agencies, and others. Our industry information is critical and valuable in educating lawmakers and influencing legislation. We are a multi-faceted nonprofit organization that is about more than your right to make or own a knife. We promote and inform about knives as valuable tools. We encourage the next generation of knife owners. We find ways to help the industry thrive and grow. All of AKTI’s efforts benefit the entire knife community.
We serve the entire knife community. Our membership is a diverse mix of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, rep groups, internet suppliers, collectors groups, individuals, and organizations. All have one mission in mind – to ensure that Americans will always be able to own, carry and use knives and edged tools.
We advocate for everyone in the knife industry and all knife owners. We work to ensure your ability to make, buy, sell, own and carry the knife or edged tool of your choice. We protect your knife-related business by making meaningful changes to knife laws, opposing restrictive laws and regulations, and finding solutions to common industry issues, such as opposing counterfeit knife commerce. We are helping expand your knife customer base by promoting a positive image of knives as vital tools used by everyday people, removing the stigma associated with various designs and types of knives, repealing antiquated laws that discourage knife use, and promoting the safe use of knives by the next generation of knife owners. Belong to AKTI because together, we can be stronger and accomplish more.
Your dues and contributions are vital for AKTI to continue working on your behalf. Making legislative changes is costly, and we carefully consider each initiative undertaken. Many programs or projects are paid for with sponsorships. No members of the Board of Regents, Advisory Members, committees, or volunteers receive any compensation and pay all their own expenses to attend meetings. Many of them donate additional resources, additional time of their staff, and pay for items AKTI needs. Some industry publications donate free advertising space to AKTI. We do not maintain an office. Our staff are part-time independent contractors, so our overhead is kept very low. We conduct our necessary association business as efficiently and economically as possible.
Your AKTI dues are not tax deductible as a charitable contribution; however, they may be deductible as a business expense to the extent allowable by law. Please check with your tax advisor. AKTI is a 501(c)6 nonprofit association. Federal tax identification number 42-147-2615,
Industry leaders, spearheaded by CJ Buck, Buck Knives, and Les de Asis, Benchmade Knives, and representatives from various groups, started meeting in 1997 at various knife events to discuss the need and interest in a national nonprofit advocacy and education organization embracing every segment of the knife industry. The work of CJ Buck and Les de Asis addressing issues facing knife owners in California emphasized the importance of a united, professional organization to tackle knife laws. The organizational ground was developed, and the initial board was formed. The announcement of the new nonprofit was made at the SHOT show in 1998.
The initial Board of Regents, those willing to donate time and contribute the money needed to start and fund the organization, elected additional board members from within the industry. Criteria include a substantial financial and time commitment to the mission and goals of AKTI, a specific experience or knowledge area to contribute to the board, and the ability to work for the entire knife industry and knife owners. The Board (and Advisory Members) represent a cross-section of viewpoints and set aside personal or business issues to work for the good of all.
AKTI holds its annual meeting of members during the Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia, each year to allow as many members as possible to attend.
Thanks for asking! The organization can continue to exist, ensure that you can sell, buy, own and carry knives and edged tools, and speak for the industry if you and others join in the effort with your time and resources. Encourage other knife users, knife manufacturers, knife distributors, knife retailers, suppliers, etc., to join. Every dollar you contribute to AKTI is vital to our ongoing efforts on your behalf.
If you are attending an upcoming gun, knife, collectors, or trade show, contact us to obtain AKTI materials to display and distribute. Proudly display your AKTI membership at shows, on your website, in social media posts, in mailings, and on promotional pieces.
If you are a custom knifemaker or a knife supplier, we would welcome your donations of knives for AKTI fundraisers.
As an AKTI member, if you would like to be part of a presentation to local, regional, or national lawmakers in your state, let us know.
Follow our social media posts and like, comment, and share!
Not ready to commit to a membership? Stay informed by signing up as a Grassroots Supporter to receive our emailed news. Then act when we send a call to action to write, email, call or fax legislators about issues. Forward AKTI emails to your address list and tell them how important it is that we work together to ensure that we continue to have the right to own, carry and use knives and edged tools.
Yes! Members are encouraged to use the AKTI member logo on their website and printed material. You can download the logo in the members’ only section here.
The easiest and most efficient time to influence legislation is while it is being formed. AKTI has a legislative alert system to monitor new federal and state laws that are being considered. AKTI also works with lawmakers providing general knife education and information, committee testimony, and economic impact data.
AKTI’s goal is to ensure that any new knife laws do not encroach upon the rights of people to use and carry knives in a responsible manner. We also want to be sure that laws passed in haste or fueled by emotion do not make unwitting criminals of otherwise law-abiding citizens. AKTI is working state by state, reviewing existing knife laws, and introducing amendments that decriminalize responsible knife use. We have been successful in several states, and you can check out more in Highlights of AKTI’s History and Successes.
AKTI works to provide educational information to law enforcement and serve as a resource to help them do their job to protect Americans. As the respected industry source of accurate information, we provide technical information about various knives, their properties and uses, as well as knife law information and interpretation.
AKTI began years ago by focusing on repealing switchblade knife laws in various states. We have been instrumental in changing the terminology to Automatic Knives. Our goal was to create the validation for the eventual repeal of the Federal Switchblade Act. After a slow start, states began to repeal their Automatic Knife laws at a fast pace. You can review auto-open laws in states here. We have also successfully introduced federal legislation titled the Freedom of Commerce Act, which we will continue to work to pass.
We do not have a legal defense fund either for accused individuals or companies, and it is not possible for us to keep a staff of attorneys on retainer nationwide. If AKTI is contacted by a private attorney representing either an individual member or company member, we will attempt to provide consistent and accurate information to assist. We have expert witnesses available as needed.
AKTI’s goal is to unify the knife and tool industry and to ask individuals and companies to lay aside their narrow competitive differences for the long-term benefit of the entire industry. AKTI will not judge the merits of ongoing legal disputes within the industry.
If you would like to submit a question, please contact us and use the subject “AKTI FAQ.”