Customs And Border Protection Proposal Could Ban Many Pocketknives

Customs And Border Protection Proposal Could Ban Many Pocketknives

Washington, DC – -( U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a proposed rule change that directly targets the importation of “assisted opening” folding knives.  (Read the proposed rule here.)

The proposed regulations would designate all these knives as “switchblades” (despite the fact they do not fall under the federal definition of “switchblades”), and would make them illegal for import into the United States.

The proposed rule could affect all knives that can be opened with one hand, because it also includes changes in the interpretation of “gravity and inertia” opening knives in a way that could outlaw all knives that can be opened with a single hand.

This means the new regulation could ban the importation of most of the pocketknives that are now in popular use.

And it could have a far greater impact.  The American Knife and Tool Institute and Knife Rights, Inc. have both reviewed the proposed new regulations and are very concerned that the impact will be far greater than just a ban on the importation of assisted opening knives.

If the new regulations also affect the broader category of single-handed opening knives, it could make millions of knives illegal for import.  More importantly, many local jurisdictions and some states depend on the definitions used by the CBP.

These changes could make hundreds of millions of knives now in regular use, illegal.  And, of course, millions of hunters use and rely on their knives and would be adversely affected by this proposed regulation.

CBP is attempting to expedite this rulemaking and is only keeping comments open until June 21, 2009.  The American Knife and Tool Institute and Knife Rights, Inc. are leading the charge against the.  For more information and to make your voice heard in opposition to these new regulations, please go to: and

AKTI’s mission as a non-profit organization is “Keeping Knives in American Lives!”
Since 1997 we’ve been doing just that for every knife owner, user, retailer, distributor, and maker. Knives were one of man’s original tools. Something as useful and handy as a knife is an important part of everyday life and a large part of our independent heritage.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Spring Assisted Kniv

it will be hard to ban pocket knives. a large amount of careers depends on them. and there is no logical reason to banned pocket knives.

that will suck if they do though..

Darryl Barker

I realize my reply is not timely. Please forgive me, but in the event someone is still checking this particular forum, I would like to rebut what was said above in posting #3 (06/26/09). Yes, I did read the bill proposal—twice. That's what got me upset. I found it to be another step towards disarming American citizens. Hence the word, "inert." I fully realize the bill proposal was generated by Customs, that’s why I made reference to the “CBP.” Janet Napalotano, an appointee of the current presidential administration, as you may know, heads this agency. That should explain my reference… Read more »


The problem is exactly what you describe: Spring Assisted pocket knives.

A huge portion of the commercial pocketknives today are spring assisted and this change would make millions of law abiding pocket knife owners in violation of the law.

The problem is the new definition is too broad and the process for making this change has been forced through by an over reaching agency that is out of control, and not accountable for its actions.

Read the Bill

Darryl did you read the bill? The bill is related to customs and what knives are allowed to be admitted into the country. There is a law concerning spring loaded blades and this bill address the issue. This bill is not an attempt to make it's citizens unable to move or sluggish in action. It is an attempt to identify the modern switchblade. Do you really need a spring to open your pocket knife? The pocket knife I own works fine without a spring. You might want to take the time to read the bill before you start writing your… Read more »

Darryl Barker

Dear Friends at Ammoland,

Thank you so much for informing me about this CBP proposed rule! Is there no end to this administration's desire to render its citizens inert? I will begin an intelligent letter writing campaign immediately–starting with the CBP and my representatives in Washington.


Darryl Barker

Retired USAF Veteran

Great Falls, Montana