Knife Owners Will Have a New Federal Protection While Traveling Under Legislation Advocated For By the American Knife & Tool Institute
The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation today passed S. 1092, the Interstate Transport Act (ITA), a bill to further protect law-abiding knife owners, introduced at AKTI’s request by Senators Mike Enzi and Ron Wyden.
Throughout the 2017-2018 legislative session, AKTI has had numerous successes in easing burdensome restrictions on knife owners throughout the nation, including a repeal of the automatic knife prohibition in Colorado and Michigan. 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.
AKTI has worked closely with legislators and staff in the United States Congress to advance its signature federal legislation, which is led by Senators Mike Enzi, R-WY, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, and currently has eight 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, Mike Crapo, R-ID, Tom Udall, D-NM, and Tammy Baldwin, D-WI.
Under current United States code, lawful gun owners are allowed to transport firearms that are legal in both a traveler’s state of origin and state of destination, even if they will pass through jurisdictions that would not permit the firearms, 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 with their firearms through states and localities that had more stringent laws. This law empowers firearm owners to travel more freely, while not restricting states’ ability to regulate the firearms that are carried within their borders.
However, no such federal 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.
“In Wyoming, we understand that knives are an essential tool for folks, whether they are for hunting, ranching or for everyday use,” Enzi said. “I am glad the committee passed this legislation, which would allow law-abiding knife owners to finally be able to travel across the country without fear of breaking the law. I am hopeful that the Senate will act quickly to pass this common-sense legislation.”
“Our bipartisan bill recognizes that law-abiding knife owners shouldn’t risk going to jail for traveling between two places where it’s legal to have knives,” Wyden said. “I’m glad the Commerce Committee has taken this important step toward respecting state laws and restoring some common sense to our nation’s laws regarding knife ownership.”
The Interstate Transport Act is a continuation of AKTI’s efforts in the US Congress since 2013. Over that time, AKTI has heard repeatedly from knife owners who have questions about the confusing and varying laws in locations they are visiting or through which they are planning to travel. Since AKTI’s goal is to ensure that law-abiding citizens have knowledge and confidence in their ability to carry the tools they use in their daily lives, we got to work.
“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. We’re extremely encouraged to see the Senate Commerce Committee pass the Interstate Transport Act, and we are highly optimistic that the Senate will soon pass the legislation and send it to the House for their approval. 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. We thank Senators Enzi and Wyden for their hard work on the Interstate Transport Act, and look forward to working with them to get it across the finish line.”