Update (April 16, 2012) – The short Alaska legislative session has ended with not enough time for consideration HB 55 in the Senate. It will be on the docket for consideration next session and we will continue to follow it and support Rep. Mark Neumann in clarifying Alaskan knife laws.
Update (April 11, 2012) – HB 55 was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Commitee and on to the Senate Commitee on Rules for scheduling to be heard by the entire Senate.
Update (April 9, 2012) – CJ Buck, AKTI Legislative Chair, Ray Thibault, co-owner Northern Knives and AKTI members testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee. Executive Director Jan Billeb was invited to the hearing to answer any potential questions.
Update (March 5, 2012) – This knife bill passed out of Alaska House and on to the Senate Judiary Committee.
Update (February 15, 2012) – HB 55 passed out of the House Judiary Committee to the floor.
Juneau, AK (February 14, 2012) – As AKTI reported in April last year, we were very pleased that Rep. Mark Neuman, House District 15, sponsored an Alaska bill to introduce the AKTI’s “bias toward closure” language we have successfully used in California, Texas, Kansas and other states, to protect knife owners’ rights to possess the knife of their choice.
Time ran out last year on the legislation, but as Rep. Neuman promised us, he reintroduced HB 55 – An Act adding definitions of ‘gravity knife’ and ‘switchblade’ to the criminal law.’ Clarifying these definitions protects the rights of knife owners from misinterpretation and potential criminal possession for a multitude of easy open knives used every day for work, hunting and fishing as well as other outdoor activities.
AKTI Board members met with Rep. Neuman last November and showed him several examples of assisted-opening and one-hand knives and answered his questions about these knives and the advocacy goals of the organization. We thank him for his interest and willingness to continue to sponsor this legislation.
Rep. Neuman is seeking support among Alaska legislators for passage of HB 55. As he states in his Sponsor Statement, “According to the American Knife and Tool Institute, there are over 35.6 million Americans who carry and use some type of utilitarian knife which opens with one hand.” “This bill simply clarifies that one handed hunting and utility knives do not qualify as a switchblade and as such are legally owned.”
The original co-sponsors of HB 55 January 18, 2011 included Representatives Bob Lynn, Mia Costello, Steve Thompson, Peggy Wilson, and Charisse Millett
AKTI has sent a letter of support for consideration to the House Judiciary Committee and will be available to testify as needed. (February 15, 2012 – Judiciary Committee passed the bill to the House floor.)
We’ll keep you posted on the progress of this legislation.
Check out AKTI wristbands “Knives Save Lives” sold by AKTI Alaska member Northern Knives to raise money for AKTI’s legislative efforts and increase awareness of the importance of protecting our rights to make, sell and own knives and edged tools.