Arms Keep & Bear, Knife Rights Under Attack

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Thread: Arms Keep & Bear, Knife Rights Under Attack

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    Arms Keep & Bear, Knife Rights Under Attack

    Knife Rights - Model Letter to Customs and Border Protection

    INSERT DATE]

    [INSERT NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS]

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    Office of International Trade
    Regulations and Rulings
    Mint Annex
    799 9th Street N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20229

    Attn: Intellectual Property and Restricted Merchandise Branch

    RE: PROPOSED REVOCATION OF RULING LETTERS AND REVOCATION OF TREATMENT
    RELATING TO THE ADMISSIBILTY [sic] OF CERTAIN KNIVES WITH SPRING-ASSISTED
    OPENING MECHANISMS

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am writing in regards to your proposed revocation referenced above. I am
    an owner and daily user of folding knives which would appear to be covered
    under your proposal. While I am having difficulty wading through your
    63-page document and making complete sense of it, your 30-day comment period
    obliges me to at least let you know that it is very concerning to me on many
    levels and that I oppose this proposal.

    In the first place, your 30-day comment period is unreasonably short. You
    cannot realistically expect us to actually understand all the myriad
    ramifications of this long and complicated proposal in a couple weeks, all
    the time left to me as a member of the public since I have just now found
    out about this proposal which was not widely circulated originally. This is
    made worse by your lack of an email address to send comments to as I must
    allow time for Postal Service delivery.

    The definition of what is a switchblade has been clear and settled since the
    Federal Switchblade Act was passed in 1958. Your position is particularly
    questionable and irreconcilable because it flies in the face of virtually
    unanimous recent state court rulings (including several cases in California,
    Texas, Illinois and Michigan) where the issue of assisted-opening knives has
    already been decided in favor of the existing clear interpretation, that
    they are not a switchblade. Your convoluted reasoning for expanding this
    definition doesn't pass the common sense test, nor is it in line with
    current judicial rulings.

    Even worse, it appears your proposal redefines gravity and inertia knives so
    broadly that many, if not most pocketknives will fall under its sweep. I and
    millions of knife owners will be affected. Because your "agency
    determination" will be used by domestic courts and law enforcement to
    determine what is a "switchblade" under both federal and state laws, the
    impact will be felt far more widely than just by importers. Many states fail
    to define switchblades and simply rely on the federal interpretation. This
    proposal would make it illegal for me and 40 million fellow law-abiding
    Americans to own a simple pocket knife.

    Your attempt to redefine switchblades will also unnecessarily cost thousands
    of Americans their jobs. Many knife companies would be put out of business
    and their employees, dealers and others would be left jobless, needlessly
    doing great economic harm to our nation in a time of economic crisis.

    I respectfully request that you do not proceed with this proposal, and that
    at a minimum, you provide a much longer comment period to allow me and my
    millions of fellow knife owners adequate time to properly review and
    comment. I also request that you allow us to submit comments via email. It
    is unconscionable in these difficult and technologically advanced times to
    force me to spend money to send my comments via postal mail.

    Sincerely,

    [INSERT SIGNATURE]

    [INSERT NAME]


    From: Doug Ritter <dritter@KnifeRights.org>
    Subject: U.S. Trying To Take Away Your Pocket Knives - Corrected Links
    To: members@kniferights.org
    Date: Sunday, June 7, 2009, 8:23 AM


    Knife Rights News Slice Vol. 2 Number 4

    This newsletter is emailed to Knife Rights members and news media. If you
    prefer not receiving these emails from Knife Rights, please email:
    dritter@kniferights.org and ask to be removed.

    A digital copy of this News Slice can be found online at:
    Knife Rights - U.S. Government Trying To Take Away Your Pocket Knives!

    The U.S. Government Is Trying To Take Away Your Pocket Knives!

    The U.S. Government is after your Pocket Knives! In a sneak attack, U.S.
    Customs has proposed revoking earlier rulings that assisted opening knives
    are not switchblades. The proposal would not only outlaw assisted opening
    knives, its overly broad new definition of a switchblade would also include
    all one-handed opening knives and most other pocket knives!

    Knife Rights is geared up to help win this fight, but we cannot do it
    without your help, your emails, your letters. The fight can only be won if
    we raise enough hell that they are convinced they will not get away with
    this. YOU are the most effective arrow in our quiver, the most powerful
    cartridge in our gun.
    Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter will be Tom Gresham's guest this Sunday on
    Tom's nationally syndicated Gun Talk radio show. The topic will be this
    Customs' proposal. Doug will explain the 63-page document, discuss the
    potential ramifications for law-abiding knife owners in the U.S., as well as
    how you can help Knife Rights defeat this over-reaching by Customs.
    Doug will appear as the first guest, starting at 1:00 PM Central Time. Some
    stations, including Sirius/XM satellite, carry the show on a delayed basis.
    Check at www.GunTalk.com for times and stations.
    Read on for the whole story and how you can make a difference and save your
    Knife Rights.

    Knife Rights was formed three years ago because we knew it was only a matter
    of time before there would be a major attempt to take away our knives, as
    has occurred in England, Europe and elsewhere. Up until now, the battles
    have been fought at state and local legislative levels, such as the recent
    scare in Hawaii: <
    Knife Rights - Hawaiian State Senator Introduces Pocket Knife Ban Bill
    >. It has been a battle of a million little cuts. Little did we guess that
    the first major battle at a national level wouldn't come head on, but with
    government bureaucrats trying to sneak it by everyone, avoiding a more
    conventional legislative battle, which they'd likely lose.

    U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) just a bit over two weeks ago on May
    21st proposed revoking earlier rulings that assisted opening knives are not
    switchblades. The proposed new rule would not only outlaw assisted opening
    knives, its new broad definition of a switchblade would also include
    one-handed opening knives and could be easily interpreted to cover most
    other pocket knives, even simple old-fashioned slip-joints. At this point,
    one-hand opening and assisted opening knives are 80% of U.S. knife sales
    (per AKTI industry sources). For most knife companies, they represent all or
    the majority of their product lines. These are the knives Americans take
    with them to work and to play everyday.

    Note, please, that CBP's interpretation of the Federal Switchblade Act forms
    the basis for national, state and even local law and judicial rulings in
    many cases. This ruling by CBP is NOT limited to just imports. This WILL
    affect virtually everyone who carries a pocket knife, no matter the type!

    CBP came up with this absurd proposal and then tried slipping it into their
    regular notices, apparently hoping nobody would become aware of until too
    late. They provided for only the minimum 30-day comment period, and there's
    no email comments allowed. Obviously, they'd just as soon not hear from us.
    We're intending to disappoint them in that.

    CBP's proposal which would have effects far beyond that suggested in the
    title of the proposal, "Proposed Revocation Of Ruling Letters And Revocation
    Of Treatment Relating To The Admissibilty [sic] Of Certain Knives With
    Spring-Assisted Opening Mechanisms," which would be bad enough even if it
    only did that. However, this proposal would make it illegal for the
    estimated 40 million law-abiding Americans who own and carry pocket knives
    to do so. It would also cost this country dearly in destroyed businesses,
    lost jobs and ruined families. Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars
    would be lost. CBP clearly appears to not have considered the consequences
    of this unnecessary, inappropriate and even illegitimate action. Since CBP
    is not required to consider the effects of their actions, only Congress or
    the courts can rein them in. If left to the courts, the industry and our
    rights will be devastated and America will lose much, regardless of who wins
    the legal fight.

    The definition of what is a switchblade has been clear and settled for the
    most part since the Federal Switchblade Act was passed in 1958 and has been
    reaffirmed by many years of legal decisions. The Act is very clear that a
    switchblade must have an activating button on the handle. Without a button,
    it is not a switchblade and this has been upheld by numerous cases on many
    levels over the years. CBP's convoluted reasoning in their proposal to reach
    back beyond the law and to expand their regulatory purview by rationalizing
    "intent" as justification for this new interpretation is a stretch, at best,
    and illegitimate at worst. It simply doesn't meet the common sense test.

    CBP's reaching beyond the clear language of the Act in making this proposal
    is particularly questionable and irreconcilable because it flies in the face
    of virtually unanimous recent state court rulings (including several cases
    in California, Texas, Illinois and Michigan) where the issue of
    assisted-opening knives has already been decided in favor of the existing
    clear interpretation, that they are not a switchblade. They cherry-picked a
    few bizarre and untypical rulings from New York state from some years ago to
    provide support for their proposal, ignoring the many more recent rulings.

    For CBP to ignore this overwhelming existing body of law is inexcusably
    arrogant and borders on a reckless abuse of their power. For them to
    suddenly do an about face is akin to moving the goalposts after starting the
    game, and then completely changing the rules of the game besides, making
    every play ever devised illegal.

    Beyond that, their significantly expanded interpretation of gravity and
    inertia knives, also included in the Act, would clearly make one-hand
    opening pocket knives illegal and according to industry sources, 80% of
    pocket knives sold today are one-hand or assisted openers. Beyond even that
    clearly excessively broad seizure of authority, we know from past
    unfortunate experience in many cases over the years that this sort of
    misinterpretation leads to potential abuse by law enforcement where even the
    most simple and innocuous Boy Scout folding pocket knife can be opened
    one-handed by use of dangerous and unsafe tricks, so that these too would be
    covered under this expanded federal definition. This ruling would therefore
    make almost all pocket knives subject to being considered switchblades.

    The impact of this CBP ruling would go far beyond just imported knives
    because this "agency determination" will be used by domestic courts and law
    enforcement to determine what is a "switchblade" under both federal and
    state laws. Many states do not themselves define switchblades and simply
    rely on the federal definition and interpretation, which is only found in
    rulings by CBP. Since interstate commerce in switchblades is prohibited,
    except under very limited conditions, simply driving across a state line
    with a pocket knife in their possession would make someone a federal felon.

    Knifemaking in the U.S. has enjoyed a renaissance in the past decade or two
    as the genius and innovation of American knifemakers, designers and
    manufacturers has created a booming and vital American industry with
    thousands of exciting new knife designs that improve the function, utility
    and safety of the lowly pocket knife, one of man's oldest and most useful
    tools. Millions of Americans have responded to this innovation, creating a
    vibrant industry. For the most part these are family owned businesses that
    are American success stories, the core of America's economic strength. This
    proposal by CBP would destroy all that for no good reason. They don't need a
    bailout; they just need to be left alone to prosper.

    The knife industry tells us they employ nearly 24,000 Americans and have a
    nearly 6 billion dollar annual impact on our nation's economy. If this
    proposed ruling is allowed to stand, thousands of jobs will be lost at the
    direct cost of billions of dollars. That doesn't even begin to cover the
    enormous cost to the country of those that would become unemployed, the
    ruined businesses, foreclosed homes, years of litigation by both industry
    against CBP and who knows how many criminal trials and appeals as
    law-abiding Americans fight this abusive attempt to take away their knives,
    as well as many other devastating unforeseen effects of this ill-considered
    proposal. Thousands of American citizens' lives would be ruined. Millions of
    Americans would be impacted. The cost would be tragically huge, more so
    because it is neither necessary, nor desired by the vast majority of
    Americans.

    We are in for the fight of our lives to save our Pocket Knives and our
    essential Knife Rights. We can only win if you do your part. You have to
    write!

    Our first step is to convince CBP that we deserve more time to respond.
    Knife Rights has sent a letter to CBP requesting an extension to the
    ridiculously short 30-day comment period:

    http://www.kniferights.org/CBP-exten...uest_FINAL.pdf

    We need your help to make an impression on CBP. They figured that they could
    slip this by everyone with little notice. We need to let CBP know that they
    are not going to get away with it; that we noticed and we are not happy and
    that we will not stand by while they take away our pocket knives.

    We need you to write CBP NOW! Their 30 day deadline is fast approaching and
    these letters must go via postal mail (or Fedex/UPS). Click below for a
    Model Letter you can send to CBP. You MUST write TODAY!

    Knife Rights - Model Letter to Customs and Border Protection
    or
    Knife Rights - Model Letter to Customs and Border Protection

    However, the reality is that CBP isn't required to listen to our demands,
    but they do have to answer to Congress. After you send a letter to CBP,
    giving them notice they are not going to sneak this by us, the next step is
    to inundate Congress with emails and letters.

    If you want to be free to carry your pocket knives in the future, you need
    to write your Senators and Representative TODAY! Click below for a Model
    Letter you can send to Members of Congress. Only your efforts will stop this
    and save our Knife Rights!

    Knife Rights - Model Letter to Congress
    or
    Knife Rights - Model Letter to Congress

    We have prepared a Communicating with Congress page that includes tips to
    maximize the effect of your letters. This page was developed after
    consultation with experts who understand exactly how to get your message
    across to Members of Congress. We have also included easy links to find your
    Representatives, if you don't know who they are or the best way to reach
    them. How much of an impact your communication has can be significantly
    impacted by how and what you write. Our aim is to help maximize your impact
    so your Members of Congress actually listen and do something. PLEASE, click
    the link below and take a few minutes to review our Communicating with
    Congress page BEFORE you act.

    Knife Rights - Communicating with Congress
    or
    Knife Rights - Communicating with Congress

    Help us stop this ill-conceived effort by CBP before it puts thousands of
    more Americans out of work and destroys one of America's oldest industries,
    causing great harm to our nation and many American families. Help us stop
    these faceless, heartless bureaucrats from destroying our essential American
    freedoms. This nation has many more important issues that need our
    attention and energy in this time of crisis.

    NOW IS THE TIME WE MUST DO BATTLE! WE HAVE NO TIME TO WASTE.

    GET ON YOUR COMPUTERS AND SEND THESE LETTERS and EMAILS.

    Write Customs & Border Patrol NOW!

    Knife Rights - Model Letter to Customs and Border Protection
    or
    Knife Rights - Model Letter to Customs and Border Protection

    Write your Senators and Representative TODAY!

    Knife Rights - Model Letter to Congress
    or
    Knife Rights - Model Letter to Congress

    Join Knife Rights and help support the fight to keep your Knife Rights!

    http://www.kniferights.org/index.php...&task=register
    or
    Knife Rights - Knife Rights Memberships Plans

    DO IT NOW! DO IT TODAY! DON'T WAIT!

    Thank you very much for your support!


    Doug Ritter
    dritter@KnifeRights.org

    Have you signed up? Go to: Knife Rights - Home
    Protecting your right to own and carry knives and tools

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