As a knife enthusiast, it's time to act. U.S. Customs and Border Protection ('CBP') is attempting to bypass Congress in mounting a frontal attack on the U.S. knife industry by expanding the long-standing 'switchblade' definition from the 1958 law to include all knives that open with one hand. This includes traditional pocket knives, one-hand openers, and assisted opener knives.
80% of new knife sales in the past five years were one-hand openers and assisted openers. Probably each one of us owns one of these knives.
This 67 page brief was presented on May 21, 2009 for the first time to the U.S. companies involved. They only gave them one month to reply ( deadline: June 21st). At 5 p.m. on June 10th, U.S. Customs denied a requested extension from the attorneys to fully review and prepare a response to this situation, holding to their original response deadline.
Several court cases in California, Texas, Illinois and Michigan have determined that assisted and one-hand-opening knives are not switchblades, according to the definitions stated in the 1958 law. Recently the Texas House and Senate unanimously agreed and have that bill, which clearly distinguishing the differences between the two categories of knives, on the Governor's desk at this time for his signature. U.S. Customs has taken this matter into their own hands to act contrary to legal precidents already decided upon in these previous court cases.
If U.S. Customs succeeds, they will effectively ban all folding knives from Interstate commerce. Individuals who cross state lines into states where switchblades are banned will be subject to arrest and prosecution. Customs' proposal will make criminals of 35.6 million Americans!Please go to the American Knife & Tool Institute website shown here for all the details:
On the website, there is a link you can click on that will generate a letter to US Customs. You just need to personalize it where it shows you to (in parentheses). If you cannot send the letter to reach WA by June 20, then you can send a letter to your congressman. June 20th is the deadline for snail-mail to be received in-hand by U.S. Customs regarding this case.
go here to find your Congressional Representative
http://www.akti.org/legislation/communicate.html ßgo here for suggestions on what to write.
This affects over 23,000 people who work for and with knife companies, not to mention all the retailers and people that use knives on a daily basis!Please visit the AKTI website, and contact your Congressional Representative right away!!!! Pass this along to all your friends, relatives, co-workers, etc. The time is short to act. Please act today.
Jim HammondHammond Knives & Designs, LLC