Knife Owners Will Have a New Federal Protection While Traveling under American Knife & Tool Institute’s Proposed Legislation
The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI), a nonprofit trade association representing the entire knife community, continues to work to promote common-sense knife law reform at the federal, state, and local levels. Throughout 2017, AKTI has had numerous successes in easing burdensome restrictions on knife owners throughout the nation, including a repeal of the switchblade prohibition in Colorado and advancement of the switchblade repeal in Michigan, which is likely to be enacted this year. In addition, AKTI has continued its work to protect lawful knife owners traveling through the current patchwork of state and local knife laws with the introduction of the Interstate Transport Act.
The organization supports signature federal legislation was recently re-introduced by Senators Mike Enzi, R-WY, and Ron Wyden, D-OR and currently has six additional bipartisan co-sponsors. These co-sponsors include: Senators Steve Daines, R-MT, Martin Heinrich, D-NM, James Risch, R-ID, Joe Manchin, D-WV, Jeff Merkley, D-OR, and Mike Crapo, R-ID.
The Interstate Transport Act is a continuation of AKTI’s efforts in the US Congress since 2013. This work is done to help the many knife owners who have contacted AKTI regarding confusion over the varying laws in locations they are visiting or planning to travel through. And since AKTI’s goal is to ensure that law-abiding citizens feel knowledgeable and confident in their ability to carry the tools they use for their daily and recreational lives, we got to work.
“The Interstate Transport Act provides common-sense protections for knife owners traveling through the United States,” Senator Wyden said. “Our bipartisan bill would protect public safety, respect states’ rights and ensure knife owners who are following the law are not punished for traveling between places where knives are legal.”
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. This protection was created in 1986, when Congress passed the Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA). Prior to this legislation, gun owners had no way to legally travel to and from states with legal firearms.
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. The Interstate Transport Act would create a federal protection for knife owners, allowing legal interstate travel with knives, provided the knives are transported to and from states where the law allows possession of said knives, and they are transported in locked containers.
The bill, S. 1092, has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. This same Committee passed the bill last Congress without objection.
Once enacted into law, the Interstate Transport Act will protect knife owners while traveling.
“Since we were formed in 1998, AKTI has worked to systematically address what we saw as outdated, confusing, and unfair laws both in the states, and at the federal level,” said CJ Buck, AKTI President and CEO of Buck Knives, Inc. “Our goal is common sense knife reform, and in recent years we have had success fighting for changes in multiple states, to the benefit of the consumer. At the federal level, we remain committed to repeal of the obsolete Federal Switchblade Act, and we also believe that we can support other measures, like the Interstate Transport Act, which will provide great value to knife owners who travel between states for sport or work. He added, “We are proud to be working with a bipartisan group of legislators who share our commitment to common sense solutions, and we look forward to passing this important reform into law.”
“Knife owners can be confident that the American Knife & Tool Institute will solve the problems they face owning and using knives in ways that will truly protect them,” emphasized David Fee, AKTI Legislative chair and Vice President of Benchmade. “AKTI’s legislative initiatives are dedicated to serving the entire knife community.”