Knife Check at the NRA Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia

2017 NRA Annual Meeting

By Dean Weingarten

USA -( Weapons could be carried, openly or concealed, at the NRA Meeting in Atlanta in 2017. Except where the Secret Service had control of the venue for President Trump’s speech. As you can see, knives and numerous other items that people would not think of as weapons, such as selfie sticks and backpacks, were prohibited.

This could have presented a major problem for people who had just walked a half a mile from parking to see and hear the first American President to address the NRA Annual Meeting since Ronald Reagan in 1983.

Fortunately, Doug Ritter of Knife Rights had arranged a compassionate solution.  Only a hundred feet from where attendees were being told they could not possess that treasured pocket knife, or bring their backpack into the venue Knife Rights had set up a complimentary Knife Check.

Knife Rights at 2017 NRA Annual Meeting

The Knife check did not just save people trouble and knives. It was used to store backpacks, walking sticks, flashlights, and holsters. About the only thing they did not check were firearms. A Boy Scout group volunteered to aid in the check in process. As people lined up to see President Trump, the place got busy.

Knife Check at 2017 NRA Annual Meetings

This was the second year that Knife Rights had set up a complimentary knife check for a Secret Service venue at the annual NRA meeting. I asked Doug Ritter how long he expected to continue with the service.  He said that Knife Rights would do it as long as there was a Secret Service controlled event at the NRA Meeting. A friend of mine predicted that Donald Trump would serve for two terms, and that a President Pence would serve two more after that.

Doug Ritter said: “From your mouth to God’s ears.”

These events may continue for quite a run.

Knife Rights is a powerhouse in reforming knife laws across the nation. Chairman Ritter says that they have opened up a “Second Front” in the war to restore the Second Amendment. Their success has been phenomenal for such a small, underfunded organization.  Operating on peanuts, they have been able to successfully lobby to eliminate unconstitutional restrictions on the ownership and carry of knives in 16 states in eight years. They have succeed in creating Constitutional Carry for knives in Arizona, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Alaska, and Kansas.

They have eliminated bans on switchblades, daggers, bowie knives, dirks, stilettos, and belt buckle knives.

Knife Rights has been in the forefront of combating ivory bans and anti-hunting initiatives in numerous states and at the federal level.

It is hard to overstate their impact on knife law.

Knives are clearly arms protected by the Second Amendment.

This year lobbying is ongoing to reform knife law in several states.  A legal challenge to the ban on knives under a bizarre interpretation of knife law in New York City is at the appellate court.

If you own or carry a knife of any description, Knife Rights is fighting for your rights. The knife check is just one example of the work they are accomplishing.

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten


©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Irene Jordan

Dear @Wild Bill, Thank you for referring to me, @FightBack, as “Sir” on your post of May 2, 2017. It made me SO very happy! It proves to me and many other women that we can be a quiet force, determined to fightback in the same manner we got Trump elected. So I’ve just “lost my cover” but it was worth it. You may not hear from us but it doesn’t mean we aren’t here. Surprise! Surprise! From, @FightBack


It would be nice if we lived in a society where all were trust worthy, but we don’t, so risk has to be managed. I had the opportunity to attend a presentation by President Bush while on active duty in the Marines. We were in the field conducting training and they had us carry our rifles into the presentation area. I suppose it made for good photos but they had us all remove and turn in the bolts from our M-16s. Like it or not if you want to attend an event where the President is speaking you will be… Read more »


I do wish that information about this service had been provided by the NRA in the emails about security for the A3 hall. I left everything at home on Friday and was not happy about it. Saturday I carried concealed. Bought another knife and parts to finish my AR-15 build.

Charlie Smith

SS: “President Trump sir”
PT: “Yes Special Agent Doofas”
SS: “do you have the list sir”
PT: “what list agent Doofas”
SS: “sir the list of prohibited items at your speaking engagement”
PT: “your fired” (does goofy hand gesture)

Charlie Smith

To all you dummies on here b****ing about the president, I have a question for you. Since when does the secret service ask the for President’s input on security operations? I’ll go head and answer for you; NEVER. The secret service is it’s own entity. They do not change up their procedures on a prez to prez basis. Get your heads out of your a**es.

Mike Murray

Oh, and we’ll tolerate anything for “SAFETY”, as determined on a case-by-case basis by the government.
Drip, drip, drip, that’s the sound of your liberty being turned into expediency.
The hall should be empty for that speech, why would anyone go there? I wouldn’t put up with it.
Just give it by CCTV.

Mark Are

So someone who needs a cane to walk can’t carry his cane? What kind of insanity is that? A CANE is a WALKING STICK. Gee Prez…feel threatened by old men with canes? Maybe you need to get another job.


The NRA has to have been aware of the Secret Service requirement that anything resembling a weapon was not to be allowed while the President was in the building. After-all, this was the second year that knife rights came to the rescue. So my question to the NRA is, why didn’t you plan for this and setup a weapons check, much like a coat check at a fine restaurant? Again, this was not the first time this happened so why didn’t you plan for this?


NRA, this is a VERY GOOD question. I’d love to hear your answer. As an active NRA supporter with ambulatory difficulties, I can’t be blind-sided by on-site rules that would require me to make my way back to my car to attend a singular event. That’s the reason I’ve never attended an NRA convention, because I knew I didn’t have the stamina to backtrack to disarm myself for one GFZ session in an otherwise freedom-friendly event.

Wild Bill

, Actually, the Secret Service keeps what it going to do and how it is going to do it a closely guarded operational security secret, then executes it protection plans. If the Secret Service revealed its plans in advance potential assassins would have an opportunity to think of a work around.


The NRA sent two email notices ahead of time to anyone who purchased a ticket so everyone should have known. If you brought something prohibited it was your own fault. I disarmed to hear the president then re-armed to go through the exhibit. No problem. It was a great event all around.


This is bull crap! Disarm me! No way!mi don’t need to see him or anyone else that bad…. I can watch them on my TV with all my weapons an anything else they concider hazardous! They can kiss my royal you know what!

Heed the Call-up

I wasn’t aware of that issue, since I wasn’t interested in seeing him; so I didn’t go to that area. I was busy walking the exhibition hall and buying a few things. I don’t know that I will go to another annual meeting, but it was interesting to see at least once. There were so many vendors, and unlike gun shows, since the vendors were the companies, the selection of firearms was vastly better. There were many other types of products being sold too. I got a new holster and a new knife.

Not even a little bit amused

This makes the president, the new president, Donald Trump look like a bigger threat to the Second Amendment than Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton combined. If the president is going to be this big a disruption to the NRA meeting, making it so that you can’t even carry in a backpack, then the president should be not be invited. The biggest threat to Donald Trump, is Donald Trump’s own mouth, and the nonsensical word salad garbage that flows from it like sewage from an outflow pipe.


This makes the NRA looks like one big joke. You want you meeting to be weapons free?

John S

Did you read?

This was the Secret Service in the hall where the president was to be, not the entire venue.

Wild Bill

Part of VPC Gil’s agenda is to discredit the NRA and all the other Second Amendment Civil Rights Groups. If the Violence Policy Center, through its agents, can drive a wedge between Second Amendment supporters and their lobby groups, we will be infinitely weakened.


Wild Bill, Please continue to guard against all encroaching stupidity.

Wild Bill

@FightBack, Thank you, sir. That is a tall order, brother, but there a lot of well spoken, knowledgeable, and thoughtful commentators out there that the mission will get accomplished.

Kent San

Of course he didn’t read the article. Since when is that something a moron does before posting?

Heed the Call-up

Gil, apparently you did not read the story. Those were the rules the Secret Service implemented in the area where the POTUS was to speak. The rest of the Georgia World Congress Center building where the NRA event was taking place, about one million square feet, was not a GFZ. That would have been impossible, since they were displaying and selling guns, as well as knives and other self-defense tools and weapons. The area with the highest concentration of legally owned and carried guns and the fewest people left of center politically was the safest place in Atlanta last weekend.… Read more »


No public place can deny people their Constitutional rights.


Really? Then perhaps we are totally misinterpreting all of the ‘gun free zone’ locations all over the country.
But then again, you are in essence correct, as those locations do indeed deny.
Nah, you are just a pot stirring troll.


Suddenly it’s okay for Right-wing elitists to disarm the people? It’s for their safety you know.

Heed the Call-up

Gil, no, it’s not okay; however, it was not the “right-wing elitists” that did that, it was the Secret Service. And as you can see by the posts, we are not okay with it.


Gil, are you REALLY as stupid as your posts indicate ?