WASHINGTON, DC –-(Ammoland.com)- In response to the American Knife & Tool Institute's (AKTI) efforts to encourage consistent knife laws from state to state, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced U.S. Senate Bill S. 1955 last week.
The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), is also known as the “Knife Owner's Protection Act of 2014,” or KOPA, and will allow citizens to transport knives over state lines for lawful purposes, even when state or local restrictions would otherwise prohibit possession of that specific type of knife or length of blade. KOPA is modeled after the federal Firearms Owners' Protection Act (FOPA), which gives firearms owners the protection to pass through all jurisdictions with guns that are legal where they live.
“As an outdoorsman and a hunter, I know that knives are an essential tool for sport and various occupations. The right to carry a hunting knife or pocket knife while traveling should be protected, even if you pass through a city or state that isn't knife friendly,” U.S. Senator Enzi said.
“I'm proud to be working with the American Knife and Tool Institute and their members on this bill and I appreciate all their work on behalf of knife owners across America. With their help we can put an end to the charges, fines and arrests that happen to people lawfully traveling across state lines for carrying what is legal in most parts of the country.”
AKTI board members met with legislators in Washington last September to share the stories of members and other knife owners who had inadvertently carried knives that were legal where they lived into other states where they were not.
“We were very pleased when meeting with legislators from several states that the Wyoming delegation of Senator Enzi, Senator Barrasso and Representative Lummis were eager to help us solve this problem for hunters, fishermen and other travelers,” said Jan Billeb, AKTI Executive Director. “We sincerely thank Senator Enzi and his staff for taking the lead on our proposed legislation and we look forward to continuing to work with them through the legislative process.”
The proposed Knife Owner's Protection Act is an important key to protecting everyone who travels with knives. The huge burden on knife users of trying to know, understand and comply with several states' laws will be replaced by these reasonable regulations:
Knife users may transport their knives by normal travel including overnight stops, common carrier misrouting or delays, and other emergency or normal stops related to a journey through states (provided there is no intent to commit a punishable offense).
Knives may not be directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the motor vehicle. If there is no compartment separate from the passenger compartment, then the knife must be in a locked container, glove compartment or console.
If transported other than by motor vehicle, a knife must be in a locked container.
An individual may carry an emergency knife or tool that has a blunt tipped safety blade or guarded blade, or both, for cutting seat belts. That type of knife or tool does not need to be locked.
KOPA does not apply to the transport of a knife in an aircraft where passengers are subject to screening by TSA.
Dan Lawson, AKTI Legal Contributing Counsel, of the firm Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebenek & Eck, assisted in writing the initial legislative proposal, as well as meeting with legislators and their staff members with AKTI board members and Jan Billeb, Executive Director.
See AKTI.org for links to AKTI's position paper on the need for this legislation as well as the full text of the S. 1955 bill.
For more information, call (307) 587-8296 or visit the American Knife & Tool Institute website at www.AKTI.org. The mailing address is 22 Vista View Lane, Cody, WY 82414-9606. Or follow AKTI at:
About AKTI (www.AKTI.org)
The American Knife & Tool Institute is the non-profit advocacy organization for the knife industry and all knife owners. Its mission is to ensure that Americans will always be able to make, buy, sell, own, carry and use knives and edged tools. Formed in 1998, AKTI is dedicated to educating, promoting and providing timely, relevant information about knives and edged tools as important tools in daily American life.