Garnering More Support for the Freedom of Commerce Act to Repeal the Federal Switchblade Act
Representatives from the American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) spent two days on Capitol Hill earlier this month in meetings regarding the Freedom of Commerce Act S. 1588. This legislation, introduced by Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), would allow consumers to purchase an automatic knife legal in their state, regardless of where it was manufactured in the U.S. by repealing the Federal Switchblade Act.
Enacted in 1958, the Federal Switchblade Act (FSA) uses the federal government’s interstate commerce power to prohibit the purchase, sale and trade of automatic knives between any of the fifty U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and any U.S. territories. S. 1588 would repeal certain provisions of the FSA and allow manufacturers to ship and sell their products to buyers in other states, as well as permit the importation of certain knife parts.
“With automatic knives legal in 43 states,” said CJ Buck, CEO of Buck Knives, and chair of the AKTI Legislative Committee, “law-abiding citizens should not be prohibited from buying an essential and valuable tool just because in doing so the knife crosses statelines.”
“Repealing the burdensome regulations on the sale of automatic knives has been a long-term effort of AKTI,” said Jan Billeb, AKTI Executive Director. “We are very thankful for Senators Crapo and Risch’s continued work on this legislation. We were very encouraged by the response to our requests for support from congressional offices during this series of Hill meetings. It was great to hear comments like ‘a knife is a knife no matter how it opens” and ‘of course, we support interstate commerce.'”
Attending the two days, and over fifteen meetings, on behalf of the knife community were John Sullivan, Director of Special Projects, W.R. Case & Sons and current AKTI President, Mark Schreiber, President CRKT, Jan Billeb, AKTI Executive Director, CJ Buck, CEO Buck Knives and Chair of the AKTI Legislative Committee, and attorney and knife expert Dan Lawson.
“A sincere thanks to W.R. Case, CRKT and Buck Knives for supporting the expenses of this trip,” said Jan Billeb. “The AKTI Board of Regent companies pay all of the travel expenses associated with legislative trips, as well as all board meetings.”