Atlanta, GA — On June 6, 2010, members of the American Knife and Tool Institute (www.AKTI.org) met in Atlanta for the group’s Annual Membership Meeting and Legislative Update to learn about the organization’s successful efforts to defend our rights to own and carry knives. Plans for future efforts were also on the agenda. The non-profit organization’s mission is to ensure that Americans will always be able to buy, sell, own, carry and use knives and edged tools. Its goals are to: Educate the public, legislators and law enforcement about knives. Promote reasonable, responsible and consistent knife legislation. Inform with accurate industry, historical and technical information.
“AKTI has been the reasonable and responsible voice of the knife-making and knife-using community since 1998,” said Executive Director Jan Billeb. “As the advocacy voice for the entire knife community, AKTI has a successful, proven record of accomplishments.”
During its annual meeting, members were updated regarding successful legislative initiatives in the last year that limited restrictive knife laws and protect law-abiding citizens. Success stories included Kansas, New Hampshire, and Texas where major changes were achieved. AKTI led the effort to oppose a U.S. Customs’ attempt to define nearly all folding knives as switchblades and make de facto criminals of millions of knife owners. Together with coalition members, they were successful in amending the Federal Switchblade Act with language previously used by AKTI in Texas HB 4456.
AKTI also announced the development of a new website at www.AKTI.org which will provide a central location for information on current state and national knife laws, AKTI initiatives to help re-define knife terminology in current laws and to change old outdated laws related to knife ownership and carry. The site will also add to AKTI’s state of preparedness for the next effort to restrict our right to carry man’s oldest tool.
In other news, three new board members were introduced: Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT), Rod Bremer, co-founder and President; Meyerco, Mike Manrose, Vice President; and United Cutlery, Clint Kadel, President /CEO.
CRKT was appointed to fill a vacancy. Meyerco and United Cutlery were added as the Board of Regents was increased from seven to nine, a move that was part of an initiative to expand AKTI’s effort to “Keep Knives in American Lives.”
For more information about the group and its initiative, contact Jan Billeb, Executive Director, American Knife & Tool Institute, 22 Vista View Lane, Cody, WY 82414-9606. The phone number is (307) 587-8296. The website is www.AKTI.org.