Highlights in AKTI’s History
Check out News for the many states where AKTI has introduced knife legislation to protect the rights of individuals to own and use the knife or edged tool of their choice or is working with individuals and other organizations on pro-knife initiatives.
- West Virginia – Joined the growing list of states enacting knife preemption laws
- Continued updating and expanding State Knife Law and Statewide Knife Preemption information
- Provided links and resources to help businesses during the pandemic
- Urged states and localities to consider the knife & tool industry as essential and critical
- Opened an online knife industry Career Center
- Published Know Your Knife Laws articles of expanded information about understanding knife laws and their interpretation
- Shared valuable Amazon selling and brand protection information
- Ohio – SB 140 on the Governor’s Desk
- Continued to garner support for the federal Freedom of Commerce Act and the Interstate Transport Act
- Freedom of Commerce Act re-introduced by Senator Crapo to repeal switchblade interstate commerce restrictions imposed by the Federal Switchblade Act of 1958.
- Interstate Transport Act re-introduced by Senators Enzi and Wyden and passed Senate Commerce Committee.
- Issued warning regarding “undetectable knives” in New York state knife law amendment.
- Ohio – Worked with Senator Joe Uecker to remove automatic knife restrictions with the introduction of SB 140.
- Montana – Proudly helped passage of HB 155 to enact knife preemption and remove the restriction of less than 1-1/2 inch blade on automatic knives.
- Vermont – Worked with Rep. Pat Brennan on introduction of bill to repeal prohibition on sale and possession of automatic knives.
- New website section with experts providing advice on intellectual property and brand protection.
- Presented Goldie Russell with AKTI’s “Industry Integrity Award” for her outstanding contributions to the industry and AKTI.
- Interstate Transport Act passed U.S. Senate by Unanimous Consent.
- Senator Joe Manchin presented with AKTI’s “Common Sense Award.”
- Louisiana – Supported passage of legislation to remove prohibitions on automatic knives.
- Held very successful third “Free to Carry” fundraiser at the Blade Show.
- Conducted State of Industry Survey
- AKTI introduced two separate key federal knife bills in the U.S. Senate.
Freedom of Commerce Act introduced by Senator Crapo to repeal switchblade interstate commerce restrictions imposed by the Federal Switchblade Act of 1958.
Interstate Transport Act re-introduced by Senators Enzi and Wyden to protect traveling knife owners from myriad of conflicting and confusing state and local knife laws.
- Colorado – Worked with Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. Steve Lebsock to pass SB 17-008 removing gravity and automatic knives from illegal items to possess.
- Held second annual fundraiser at the Blade Show titled “Free to Carry.”
- Senator Mike Crapo presented with AKTI’s “Common Sense Award.”
- Michigan – Worked with State Police Association for passage of SB 245 that repealed switchblade prohibitions.
- Montana – Supported passage of HB 251 removing knives with a blade of 4 or more inches from list of illegal concealed weapons.
- AKTI published the “State of the Sporting Knife Industry Report”, a valuable tool in discussing knife issues with legislators.
- Presented Senator Martin Heinrich and Congressman Kurt Schrader AKTI’s “Common Sense Award” for their work on the “Knife Owners’ Protection Act” (now renamed Interstate Transport Act).
- Held first “Giving Back” fundraiser at the Blade Show.
- Presented Blade Show with “AKTI Integrity Award” for their support of AKTI’s anti-counterfeiting efforts.
- AKTI President CJ Buck inducted into Blade Show Hall of Fame for his contribution to the industry through AKTI.
- Developed whitepapers on key states including Ohio, Montana, Michigan, Colorado, Vermont and others
- Presented Senators Mike Enzi and Ron Wyden with “AKTI’s Common Sense Award” for their continued effort to pass legislation to protect knife owners traveling from state to state.
- Filed an amicus brief in California appeals case ruling that an open slipjoint knief is not an illegal dagger when carried concealed.
- Began a series of knife law articles in Knife magazine (formerly Knife World).
- Provided legislative support for efforts in Nevada, Maine, Oklahoma and Texas initiatives.
- Increased legislative efforts by engaging ADS Ventures to prompt state level knife reform and provide more support on the federal level.
- Oklahoma – Assisted in passage of SB 198 allowing automatic knives
- In response to AKTI’s efforts to encourage consistent knife laws from state to state, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi introduced legislation to protect traveling knife owners.
- Released new website design and updated state knife law information.
- AKTI conducted a round-table and seminar on the devastating financial affects of counterfeits, what knife businesses can do to protect themselves, and why consumers should buy original product.
- Met with federal legislators to garner support for legislation regarding the interstate transport of knives by traveling knife owners.
- Completed long range planning and refocused committees, approving committee missions for Finance, Membership, Marketing, Education, Legislation and Anti-Counterfeiting.
- Kansas – Supported Kansas House Federal and State Affairs Committee HB 2033 to enact statewide knife preemption and remove restrictions on automatics, dirks, daggers, and stilettos.
- Alaska – Worked with Rep. Mark Neumann on passage of HB 33 to remove restrictions on automatic knives and enact statewide knife preemption.
- Indiana – Provided support for passage of the removal of restrictions on automatic knives.
- Developed plan of ten key states to initiate changes and began initial contacts for support.
- AKTI published 2012 State of the Industry Report providing valuable data showing the importance of knives and the sporting knife and tool industry.
- California appellate court upholds AKTI’s signature bias toward closure language.
- Expanded informative articles on the AKTI website including information about kids and knives and other educational topics. Revised “My First Knife” kid safety pamphlet and distributed 12,000 to the Mule Deer Foundation for the “M.U.L.E.Y” program.
- Worked with TSA on allowing knives back on airplanes. Effort failed due to organized pushback from airline unions.
- Washington – Supported Mike Vellekamp’s efforts with HB 2347 to allow automatic knives to be manufactured in the state.
- Received “Blade Magazine Industry Achievement Award” for legislative accomplishments.
- AKTI became a partner and supporter of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Governor’s Caucus, and National Association of Sportmen’s Caucus.
- Began a monthly knife online auction to raise money to increase the Legislative Fund and number of states per year to target for legislative changes.
- Boston – Opposed licensing of knife retailers.
- AKTI updated its vision, mission and goals, and the objectives and strategies to achieve them. Launched a new website with increased resources. The Board of Regents was expanded in size to increase the organization’s impact. Approved revised standard definitions.
- New Hampshire – Supported Rep. Jenn Coffey’s legislation to remove all knife restrictions.
- Began work in New York with the NY Legal Aid Society to change the definition of gravity knives.
- Opposed confiscation of knives by Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
- Kansas – Bias toward closure language incorporated
- AKTI promptly opposed the introduction of a Hawaiian bill to ban all folding pocket knives.
- Texas – H 4456 – In response to court cases, AKTI successfully introduced a Texas bill adding an exemption to the switchblade definition that a switchblade “does not include a knife that has a spring, detent or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist or arm to overcome resistance and open the knife.” This clarified that assisted-opening knives are not switchblades.
- U.S. Customs – AKTI led the industry opposition to Customs’ proposed revocation of ruling letters that would have redefined switchblades to include any knife that opens with one hand. The Federal Switchblade Act of 1958 was amended to incorporate AKTI’s TX switchblade definition language.
- Using data from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Survey, AKTI assessed which states had the greatest economic impact on knife purchase and use and began targeted effort to make significant changes for use of knives in outdoor activities.
- South Carolina – SB 968 – AKTI successfully removed South Carolina’s knife law that made any knife with a blade over 2 inches a weapon.
- A free Grassroots Supporter email program was initiated to receive legislative updates and support AKTI’s efforts by contacting legislators when needed.
- Luggage tags were distributed at the Blade Show to warn people to put knives in checked airline bags.
- An industry survey was conducted and the “2007 State of the Sporting Knife Industry” was published for membership use.
- California – AKTI provided an_amicus curiae_ brief in the Lopez appeal which affirmed that a “switchblade does not include a knife that opens with one hand utilizing thumb pressure applied solely to the blade of the knife or a thumb stud attached to the blade.”
- A free newsletter program to retailers was initiated to provide as a service to customers.
- AKTI developed a state-by-state plan to change restrictive knife laws.
- An AKTI newsletter reviewed state court cases that determined assisted-opening knives are not switchblades.
- Arkansas – HB 1235 – AKTI successfully repealed Code 5-73-121 – In Arkansas it is no longer a weapons offense to carry a knife with blade 3-1/2″ or longer.
- The AKTI Approved Knife Definitions was finalized and distributed to members, press, lawmakers and others to offer industry approved definitions for legal knife terms.
- AKTI encouraged TSA to allow knives back inside airplanes.
- The AKTI Board of Regents approved AKTI’s Knife Measuring Protocol and an initial suggested standard knife definitions was drafted.
- AKTI sent letters of support for S659 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
- NY knife seizure cases were responded to with definition information and referrals to expert witnesses.
- AKTI opposed a Michigan ban on “multi-bladed devices.”
- AKTI began the process of formulating a knife measuring protocol by contacting state attorneys generals and the membership for input.
- A presentation on model law legislation and ways to influence wording of legislation was given.
- The document “Guide to Knife Naming” was written.
- AKTI members began discussion of standard knife definitions.
- AKTI provided updates on TSA regulations to assure traveling knife owners were aware of changes and put knives in checked baggage.
- A Legislative Action Plan that included presentations to state legislators was developed.
- Florida – HB 1227 – AKTI efforts successfully clarified the definition of a “ballistic knife” – that it must physically separate from the blade.
- Boston – Reversed Boston City Council proposed ordinance banning all knives with blades longer than 2-1/2”. AKTI Regents testified to the council.
- AKTI published two pamphlets: Understanding Knife Laws and My First Knife.
- The Regents reviewed attorney Dan Lawson’s “Sensible Knife Legislation” document to increase knife legislation understanding.
- Regent Les de Asis introduced Oregon legislators to the knife industry; emphasizing economic impact and employment importance, which provided an important move during U.S. Customs’ seizure of knives from CRKT later in the year.
- California – SB 274 – AKTI successfully revised 653k amending it that a “Switch blade” knife does not include a knife that opens with one hand utilizing thumb press applied solely to the blade of the knife or a thumb stud attached to the blade, provided that the knife utilizes a detent or other mechanism that (a) provides resistance that must be overcome in opening the blade, or (b) biases the blade back toward its closed position.”
(CA 653k had been revised earlier (1996) with major effort by Buck, Benchmade and others to clarify that knives designed to open with one hand were not switchblades. Due to issues from the District Attorney Assn, it was revisited and the bias toward closure language that AKTI developed was added.)
- AKTI did a letter writing campaign in support of CRKT against a U.S. Customs’ seizure.
1999 – AKTI refined its mission and goals.
- The Advisory Member category was developed to assist the board with direction and programs.
- AKTI subscribed to a service and began monitoring knife legislation introduced on the federal level and in all 50 states.
- SHOT Show announcement of the formation of the American Knife & Tool Institute, Inc.
- Organizational meetings were held, bylaws approved, the board of regents expanded, and Form 1024 application for federal nonprofit status filed.
- Committees were formed: Finance, Public Relations, Legislation, Membership, and Education.
- Two million box stuffers were distributed with knife products to knife owners about AKTI.
1997 – Industry leaders and representatives from various groups, spearheaded by CJ Buck and Les de Asis, who had recently dealt with knife law issues in California, met at various knife events to discuss the need and interest in the formation of a national nonprofit advocacy and education organization embracing every segment of the knife industry.
Organizational groundwork was developed, and the American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) incorporated in the state of West Virginia with an initial Board of Regents.