Monday, June 15, 2009

Sharps: Picking our pockets

We don't have much time here, so I'll make this brief.

U.S. Customs & Border Protection wants to change the definition of a "switchblade" to include all knives that open with one hand. If USCBP gets its way, an estimated 35.6 million law-abiding Americans who now own multi-tools, one-hand openers, assisted-openers and even traditional pocket knives immediately could become de facto criminals.

It's a classic example of a federal enforcement agency trying to do an end-run on Congress -- thus ignoring the will of the People -- by rewriting regulations before anyone notices. And although this particular
proposal is directed only at importers of assisted-opening knives, the language used in the USCBP document is broad enough to apply to any knife that opens with one hand.

Once the agency succeeds in changing the definition, it likely will move against all folding knives -- whether they're imported or not.

This isn't just stupid -- it's real and it's right on top of us, right now.

Knife Rights, an advocacy group representing knife owners, is fighting this idiocy on our behalf. So is the American Knife & Tool Institute, a non-profit industry organization. Even the National Rifle Association, which almost never strays from firearms issues, recognizes how dangerous the situation is to our liberties.

I urge anyone who owns a folding knife to register opposition to the USCBP proposal by sending one or more of the model letters below. The agency isn't accepting comments by e-mail, and our letters must be received no later than Saturday, June 20th.

Let's do what we can to stop this, People.

Model letters (Microsoft Word)
Knife Rights letter to USCBP

AKTI letter to USCBP
AKTI letter to legislators