BLADE Magazine

Alaska Pro-Knife Bill Passes House Unanimously

The Alaska House of Representatives has unanimously passed HB 55 “Definitions of Gravity Knives and Switchblades,” referred to by sponsor Rep. Mark Neuman as the “Knife Rights Act.” HB 55 would clarify state law on the subject of assisted-opening and one-hand opening knives to ensure they are not considered gravity knives or switchblades, currently banned under Alaska statute.

    According to Knife Rights, it requested that the bill be amended to include Knife Law Preemption, which would make knife laws consistent across Alaska. 

     HB55 is now in the Alaska Senate, where it has been referred to the Judiciary Committee.

    If you live, work or travel in Alaska, please contact the Senate Judiciary Committee members and ask them to vote in support of HB55. Contacts for Judiciary Committee members can be found at:

    Knife Rights Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rathner, testified in support of HB55 before the House Judiciary Committee, answering questions regarding both Knife Law Preemption and about the clarifying language of the bill.

    Knife Law Preemption protects honest citizens from a patchwork of local ordinances and rules that can entrap those traveling within or through a state in possession of knives that meet state law or wherever they live in the state. Without preemption, a person can be charged with a violation of law when they have no intention of violating the law.  

    As explained by Rep. Neuman, “Spring-loaded [assisted-opening] knives and other one-handed knives that have a bias towards closure are an important tool for Alaska hunters, anglers and many craftsman. Many of us carry and use knives every day, and some mechanisms, such as being spring-loaded, don’t make our knives switchblades. We shouldn’t be punished nor have our tools, which can be just as expensive as other implements, subject to seizure or forfeiture.”  

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