“Common Sense Award” Recognizes the Senator and Congressman’s Bipartisan Leadership on a Federal Initiative to Better Protect Citizens from Complex and Burdensome Government Regulations
September 19, 2016 – Cody, WY – The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) last week presented Senator Martin Heinrich, D-NM, and Congressman Kurt Schrader, D-OR 5, with the “AKTI Common Sense Award.” The award is designed to honor Members of Congress who have worked across party lines to further common sense legislation.In today’s annual presentation, AKTI honored Senator Heinrich and Congressman Schrader for their bi-partisan work on the Knife Owners’ Protection Act (KOPA), a bill that will ensure federal protection for lawful knife owners from the current patchwork of state and local knife laws.
“I would like to thank the American Knife and Tool Institute for this award, recognizing the growing bipartisan support for the Knife Owners Protection Act,” said Senator Heinrich. “This legislation will protect law abiding knife owners from being arrested or fined when they are traveling with hunting or pocket knives. Sportsmen and hunters who are safely transporting their knives from one location where they are legal to another should not fear unfair prosecution when they cross state lines and jurisdictions. With the patchwork of knife laws across the country, this legislation is just common sense.”
“When responsible knife owners transport their knives across state lines, they are very often met with drastically different laws regulating their knives from state to state,” said Rep. Schrader. “This creates a lot of legal confusion that no other group is forced to face. We worked together to find a common sense solution to alleviate a lot of that confusion.”Under current U.S. code, lawful gun owners are allowed to transport firearms legally in both the state of origin and the state of destination, provided they are properly stored and in accordance with all federal restrictions. However, no such protection exists for knife owners wishing to transport knives to and from states in which they are legal, but through jurisdictions with varying requirements. KOPA would allow legal interstate travel for knives, provided the knives are transported to and from states where the law allows possession of said knives, and they are transported in closed containers. In the Senate, the bill, S. 1315, has passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and is sponsored by Senators Mike Enzi, R-WY, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, and co-sponsored by Senators Joe Manchin, D-WV, Martin Heinrich, D-NM, Mike Lee, R-UT, John Thune, R-SD, Jon Tester, D-MT, Jerry Moran, R-KS, Tom Udall, D-NM, Steve Daines, R-MT, Maria Cantwell, D-WA, Mike Crapo, R-ID, Jeff Merkley, D-OR, and Jim Risch, R-ID. In the House, H.R. 419 is sponsored by Congressman Matt Salmon, R-AZ 5, and co-sponsored by Reps. Kurt Schrader, D-OR 5, Thomas Massie, R-KY 4, Trent Franks, R-AZ 8, Paul Gosar, R-AZ 4, Cynthia Lummis, R-WY At Large, David Schweikert, R-AZ 6, Martha McSally, R-AZ 2, and Rob Bishop, R-UT 1.
“Since our inception, AKTI has been a bi-partisan organization that looks to partner with legislators operating above partisan politics and interested in bringing sound, practical solutions for people who depend on knives in their daily lives,” said CJ Buck, AKTI President and Co-Founder. “It has been an honor to work with Senator Heinrich and Congressman Schrader on common sense legislation that brings clarity to people who travel with knives as part of their daily professional and recreational activities.”
For nearly 20 years, AKTI has served as the go-to resource for knife owners looking to ensure that they comply with all local, state, and federal laws related to knives. One of the biggest complaints and points of confusion AKTI hears about from lawful knife owners involves the interstate transport of knives. While citizens are making every effort to comply with patchwork state and local laws, it has become clear that there is the need for a federal protection for sportsmen, hunters, and other law-abiding knife owners that does not interfere with state and local restrictions on knife use.