Thursday, June 11, 2009

Knife Ban Situation Heating Up

This situation has some scary potential, essentially a back-door ban on any folding knife that can be opened with one hand (and I think all of you know how many that is!). This from DougRitter at Knife Rights — where I signed up as a benefactor member last week: 
Customs Says "NO EXTENSION!" - They Want Your Pocket Knives NOW!

Breaking News: We have received word that U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has DENIED the numerous requests for extension that it had received from Knife Rights, AKTI, manufacturers and citizens like you, and is planning to stick with the June 21 deadline for comments.

CBP's denial of an extension seems to be a clear indication that they do not intend to act in a fair and reasonable manner on this issue and have already made their decision to go ahead. That may be a somewhat cynical viewpoint, but given the history of CBP, it seems like a good bet. That means we have to set the stage for the next act, which will likely be conducted both in court and in Congress. The battle is far from over; your comments will play a key role in both efforts. If you haven't yet submitted comments, you need to do it NOW! Your comments on the record will make a difference and the more the better.

In light of the denial, Knife Rights has re-written our Model Comments letter for concerned knife owners to send to CBP. If you have not already sent your letter to CPB, please do so TODAY! If you want to send another letter, it couldn't hurt. The comments cannot be emailed, they must be mailed or sent by FedEx/UPS, etc. and they must be received in Washington, DC, no later than June 20, 2009. (The deadline is Sunday, June 21, but there's no mail delivery on Sunday).

To all of the hundreds of you who have already sent letters, thank you very much. It will make a difference in the end.

A number of emails have asked where it explicitly says in the CBP's document that they are going after almost all pocket knives. If you are looking for explicit language to that effect, you won't find it. That would be too easy, and CBP had no interest in a direct confrontation of that magnitude. They were, after all, trying to slip this one through in the first place as just a minor ruling change. One has to take the logical next step based on the rationales provided by Customs in expanding the interpretation of a switchblade to assisted openers to see where that is headed. It is not even a small leap from assisted openers to one-hand openers, if they succeed. From there to slipjoint folders that can be opened using various tricks one-handed is only another very small step.

If their new ruling is accepted and put in place, the next step will be seizing a warehouse full of imported one-hand openers, which they can legally do, declaring them to also meet their now very broadly defined interpretation of what a switchblade is. They came very close to doing that a few years back in a seizure involving Columbia River Knife & Tool. With this ruling in place, they would succeed. Then the definition of what is a switchblade is expanded even further. It is this that has knife owners and the knifemaking industry up in arms, because our lawyers understand how these bureaucrats use these rulings and language games to get well beyond what it appears at first glance they are reaching for.
Go to Knife Rights, join and see what you need to do! 

Here's more from World Net Daily, the only news outlet covering the story.


Secesh said...

I downloaded the letters and will send them out tomorrow. I hope everyone will get behind this, it's important.

nj_larry said...

I don't see any active pushing and shoving from the gun lobby, be it GOA or NRA. Some comments and that is about all. Doug Ritter is out there on his own. I also don't see any politicians working this situation.

I really don't want to believe that this is an example of the "I don't care about those guys, it's not MY fight" syndrome. But it may just be...

Geoff aka Pathfinder said...

We always figured bho would use the Executive authorities and not wait for pesky laws, but who woulda thunk it he would go after knives first?

Emails to GOA, NRA, SAF et al. will follow my mailing letters tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

My state has no problem with auto knives.
So where does this leave me??

The CBP can rotate on my Benchmade auto!

phiw said...

Guys you NEED to get those letters in to them and your local Politician if this goes ahead it will just be like Australia

Anonymous said...

Interesting.. however they have been attacking gun rights for years, and they are no closer to banning them than they were when they first started, and all guns will ever be are weapons. since knives are much more than that i assume the ban on them will be so much harder to accomplish. its folly to think theyd succeed

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Unknown said...

I found this when looking up some info on the up and coming gun bans thanks to Sandy Hook. All this makes me so mad. What is next? Expression bans?

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