AKTI - Senate Protects Pocketknives

Mar 7, 2008
Senators Cornyn, Pryor, Wyden, Crapo, Hatch, Vitter, Risch, Chambliss, Corker, Enzi, Barrasso, Graham and Roberts co-sponsored this substantive amendment late on July 8. AKTI thanks them.

The language mirrors the Texas switchblade amendment language signed into law June 18. It will be added to the Federal Switchblade Act at Section 1244 (Exceptions) as item (5). It reads …

(5) a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist or arm to overcome the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife.

AKTI believes this will protect all importers and domestic producers of assisted-openers and folding knives from the very broad re-definition language proposed by Customs.

We now move back to the House to attempt to get matching language there. Stay tuned early next week for a new call to action in the House.

Finally, we must have your financial support to get this done. Our legal and advocacy costs in DC to get this done have been staggering.

David D. Kowalski

AKTI Communications Coordinator

715-209-7389 (cell)

Send checks to ... AKTI ...

Jan Billeb

22 Vista View Lane

Cody, WY 82414-9606

Please see our release below…

Keith Franks

Leg. Assistant

Senator Cornyn



From: Gray, Tina (Cornyn)
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 12:37 PM
To: Gray, Tina (Cornyn)
Subject: Senate Votes Unanimously To Protect Pocketknives

United States Senator - Texas
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Kevin McLaughlin, (202) 224-0704
Tina Gray, (202) 224-0703
Friday, July 10, 2009

Senate Votes Unanimously To Protect Pocketknives

Sens. Cornyn, Pryor, Hatch, Vitter and others team up to ensure assisted-opening pocketknives are exempt from government regulation

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, released the following statement after the Senate unanimously passed their amendment to protect the use of pocketknives. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had proposed amending and expanding the Switchblade Knife Act of 1958 to include spring-assisted or one-handed-opening knives. The Senators’ amendment clarifies that assisted-opening pocketknives are exempt from regulation.

“The Senate sent a strong message and made clear that the 35 million Americans who own pocketknives are free to continue using them without the threat of federal agency intrusion,” said Sen. Cornyn. “While U.S. Customs and Border Protection proposed changing that, my colleagues joined in a unanimous, bipartisan effort to ensure assisted-opening pocketknives are protected by the law. What’s more, the CBP reversal would have inflicted serious economic harm to sporting goods manufacturers and retailers.”

“Customs and Border Patrol went overboard in trying to interpret an outdated statute regulating certain pocketknives. In Arkansas, firemen, construction workers, farmers, policemen, electricians, hunters and fishermen all took notice. A pocketknife for many people can serve as an entire toolbox, and the government really has no business taking that away from them,” said Sen. Pryor. “I’m pleased to team up with Senators Cornyn and Hatch to prevent this proposed regulation from being implemented.”

“Without this amendment, there is a real danger that 80 percent of the pocketknives sold in the U.S. could be classified as illegal switchblades, which would hurt knife and tool manufacturers across the nation,” Sen. Hatch said following the Senate’s vote late Thursday. “The unintended consequences of the CBP’s definition could be that state and federal criminal courts could construe Leatherman-type multi-tools equipped with one-hand opening features, as well as folding utility knives with studs on the blunt portions of the blade to assist with opening, to be illegal. That is absurd.”


This amendment is endorsed by American Knife and Tool Institute, Knife Rights, National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, Knifemakers’ Guild, Meyerco USA, Benchmade Knife Company, Gerber - Fiskars, and SOG Specialty Knives and Tools.