Eight Co-Sponsors Bring Bi-Partisan Momentum to Common Sense Legislation
March 8, 2016 – Cody, WY – The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) today announced eight new co-sponsors to the Knife Owners Protection Act (KOPA): Senators Jon Tester, D-MT, Jerry Moran, R-KS, Tom Udall, D-NM, Steve Daines, R-MT, Maria Cantwell, D-WA, Mike Crapo, R-ID, Jeff Merkley, D-OR, and Jim Risch, R-ID. KOPA, a bill that will ensure federal protection for lawful knife owners from the current patchwork of state and local knife laws, has been an AKTI priority since its initial introduction in 2013. With the steadfast work of the bill’s sponsors, Senators Mike Enzi, R-WY, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, the bill is now well poised to pass the US Senate.
“Folks who work with their hands know that a knife is a useful tool if it’s used properly,” said Senator Tester, D-MT. “Law-abiding knife owners traveling from state to state deserve to have their rights protected, and that’s exactly what this bill does.”
Under current U.S. code, lawful gun owners are allowed to transport firearms legally 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 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. The bill, S. 1315, which has passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and is co-sponsored by Senators Mike Lee, R-UT, Joe Manchin, D-WV, John Thune, R-SD, and Martin Heinrich, D-NM.
“It is crucial that hunters and tradesman feel confident that they can travel to the best opportunities they can, and bring the tools with them that they need to optimize their work and activities.” Said CJ Buck, AKTI President.
For nearly 20 years, 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.