Customs Mute as Knife Ban Deadline Passes

Customs Mute as Knife Ban Deadline Passes

Operation Switch Hunt
Operation Switch Hunt

Washington, DC – -( July 21, 2009 loomed large on the calendar for the edgencia. That was the date U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) was to announce whether it would move to outlaw assisted openers and other one-handed operation knives.

Although Customs had an extra 30 days to come to a decision, the agency did not make a ruling.

In typical Customs fashion, the agency did not release a statement as to why.

The American Knife and Tool Institute (AKTI), however, did.

“[Customs] will not pursue their revocation proposal, they have told us and Senators involved in Amendment 1447 in the Senate, as long as there is legislative action pending,” David Kowalski, communications coordinator for AKTI, said in an e-mail.

The amendment Kowalski referred to passed the U.S. Senate on July 8. If signed into law, it would add assisted openers as an exception to the 1958 Switchblade Act. This would negate any attempt by Customs to reclassify assisted openers as illegal switchblades.

The next step for Amendment 1447 is the Conference Committee. The amendment will be prepared for introduction into the U.S. House of Representatives. If the measure passes in the House, it will go to President Barack Obama for signature.

For knife advocacy groups, this is the “wait” part of the “hurry-up-and-wait” style of Washington politics.

“The Conference Committee will not meet until after the August recess,” a statement on Knife Rights‘s Web site read. “As such, you probably will not be hearing too much until September, if then.

“Our legislative consultants tell us that it makes no sense to write your House Member at this point, with any action over a month away. Politics is often a case of hurry up and wait. We did the hurry up, now we wait.”