A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v Bruen pertaining to the restrictive New York State law governing handgun carry permits will likely impact knife laws and prosecutions for those accused of violations. The court ruled that the need for concealed carry of weapons (CVCW) applicants to establish “proper cause” for issuing a handgun carry permit is a restraint not allowed by the U.S. Constitution.
The right preserved in the Second Amendment to the Constitution is the “individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” The type of weapons – arms – included within the scope of this right are those “in common use.”
The complex and often confusing body of American law regarding knives is the product of government efforts to create some distinction between weapon and non-weapon knives. The efforts have led to arbitrary – if not absurd – restrictions based on the length or shape of the blade. Safety features such as a crossguard on a fixed blade knife or a locking blade folding knife are sometimes mischaracterized as features of weapon knives.
The American Knife & Tool Institute is dedicated to keeping knives in American lives. People have the freedom to select knives that will best serve their needs. Knives suitable for use as a weapon are clearly within the scope of constitutional protection. We will continue our work to preserve access to and the freedom to carry man’s oldest tool.
Read more detail on how this ruling affects knife laws.