Some in Congress Standing up for Folding Knives

From the Shooting Wire today:

Late news yesterday afternoon that a pair of Congressmen have decided to apply the nuclear option – restrictive amendments to their budgets, to let the Department of Homeland Security know they don’t like the proposed Customs and Border Patrol measure designed to change the definition of a switchblade knife. The new CBP definition, if adopted, would basically cut the modern knife industry to the quick as approximately eighty percent of knives currently in production would fall into the definition of switchblade because of their assisted-opening feature.

Representatives Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) have co-sponsored an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill to restrict funds to the proposed CBP rule on switchblades.

Good for Reps. Latta and Minnick.  Hopefully we can get some more legislators on this bandwagon.  Write your legislators today and ask them if they’ll join their two colleagues.

9 thoughts on “Some in Congress Standing up for Folding Knives”

  1. I’ve been collecting real switchblades – both OTF’s and side-opening models – for years. I even have Italian-import stilettos that predate the 1958 federal ban.

    If all of my “assisted-opening” knives get redefined as being switchblades by the Obama lackeys who are now running US Customs, I’ll just add in leaf springs and whatever other necessary parts to each one so as to make them into bona fide switchblades. I already successfully did such a thing with one of my cheap folding knives about ten years ago, and it still works great.

    If this proposed folding knife redefinition goes into effect, it might even then be high time for somebody to start selling switchblade conversion kits, too. They could bear the name of an “Obama Blade Special” or something like that.

  2. I’ve got a suspicion that this whole rule change proposal about knives is nothing but a ploy to turn more Americans unwittingly into felons over the knives which they already own, which would then in turn mean that they cannot own the firearms which they already possess, or purchase other firearms from FFL’s in the future.

    It’s just another baby-step towards tyranny from “the one.”

  3. Restricting funds? Really? I suppose we can’t just repeal the Switchlbade Act because… because?

  4. Because some things are easier to insert into a very large budget bill, where they can go unnoticed because politicians and the media are focused on other, larger issues.

    Repealing the Switchblade Act would be a much more difficult feat, politically. I wouldn’t go so far as to say impossible, but the knife lobby would need to be stronger before they could pull it off.

  5. Is there a powerful anti-knife lobby of sorts out there? Like the Brady people, but with knives?

  6. You’d probably have some law enforcement (the same ones that push gun control) come out against lifting it. The media will certainly pay attention to it. Politicians will become wary because they will fear what their constituents will think about them voting in favor of switchblades. The fact that DHS was trying to ban folding knives will be lose in the debate about why Congress thinks allowing switchblades is a good idea.

    If the folding knife regulations go through, there are plenty of other legal tools to fight it, including the language of the Switchblade Act itself. What this budget item is intended to do is scare DHS into reconsidering the regulation. Agencies loathe to have budget restrictions placed on them.

    Politicians are not brave creatures, and are generally not willing to take any stance based on general principle, especially if they think there’s a chance they’ll look bad to their constituents, and look bad in the media and in their social circles. The only way you can influence them to change laws is to entice them with money and votes, and until you can demonstrate there are money and votes standing up for knife rights, you can expect it to go nowhere.

  7. Buck knife company is in Idaho, so there may be a “traditional” incentive for Minnick’s involvement. Ohio is no longer a knife powerhouse (Fremont used to be), so Latta is either acting purely out of principle, or has some serious collector support–not impossible (and not, for that matter, mutually exclusive).

    “There is nothing in this life a 15 year old boy will not do for a pocketknife” –attributed to Marlene Dietrich.

  8. I’m pretty sure that this switch-blade thing wasn’t a law but rather a re-interpretation of a regulation by the customs etc agency. Sorta like what the batfae do all the time.

  9. emdfl:

    That’s correct. I think it’s an interpretation that has no basis in law either, which means I would expect the regulation to be challenged in court if it goes through.

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