For a long time, most American’s have only considered the Second Amendment to protect their right to own and carry firearms. Naturally, the hot-button debate over gun rights has all but overshadowed the debate over other “arms”, such as knives.
A non-profit advocacy group, Knife Rights, has been working tirelessly to change that. The group says that laws restricting knife sales and possession are the “new frontier” in the fight over the Second Amendment, and so they have been working tirelessly to repeal long-standing knife bans.
Up until recently, it was a crime in many states to carry certain knives on your person; often times, these laws depended on confusing, archaic terms and descriptions to differentiate between legal knives and illegal knives. Thanks to work of knife rights activists, that is beginning to change.
“We’ve introduced the Second Amendment to a significant number of people who never considered it their amendment,” said Doug Ritter, Knife Rights founder in a statement to Fox News.
Knife Rights and other activists argue that carrying any kind of knife is protected by the Second Amendment. So far, 10 states have taken up the “knife debate”, with most of them having wiped most of their knife laws from the books. In addition, eight states have also passed legislation blocking local governments from passing ordinances restricting an individual’s ability to carry a knife. This is especially important as many localities have passed ordinances that conflict with state law – something which can be very confusing for knife owners.
As it currently stands, two states, Oklahoma and Maine, have passed comprehensive knife rights bills legalizing previously demonized knifes such as switchblades and daggers.
Maine State Rep. Joel Stetkis, was able to successfully lobby in support of a law that legalized not only switchblades, but all tools with automatic release, which were banned up until recently and had gotten innocent people into trouble, he said.
“People were having their personal property confiscated and charged with a crime and facing jail time … just for having their pocket knife opening in a certain manner,” Stetkis told FoxNews.com
“There’s no blood running in the streets, no state has come back and said we shouldn’t have done this and tried to reinstate the laws…Simply carrying a knife in your pocket should not be crime” Knife Rights said.
An investigation by The Village Voice in 2014 turned up 60,000 arrests in New York City alone, most of these arrests were caused by the confusion citizens and police officers have in differentiating switch-blades, which are illegal from spring-assisted knives, which are legal.