There is both good and bad news from Washington state. Starting with the good, two companion bills, Senate Bill 6179 and House Bill 2347, would make it legal to manufacture spring-assisted and switchblade knives in the state. The bills also clarify the definition of a switchblade, or what is referred to in Oregon law as a “spring blade knife,” so as to not include assisted-opening knives that are currently subject to adverse interpretation of the state statute, making them technically illegal. In addition, the bill would expand the existing law enforcement exemption for possession of “spring blade knives” to members of the military, full-time first responders and the citizens who hold a valid Washington concealed pistol license (Washington is a “shall issue” state).
Knife Rights Director of Legislative Affairs Todd Rather will be in Olympia on Wednesday to testify in support of the bills on behalf of Washington's knife owners. The bills are a big incremental step forward in a state where any knife with a spring assisted blade has been interpreted as being illegal and where Washington knife companies, such as Fox Knives USA and SOG, were prohibited from even manufacturing such knives in the state, sending those jobs to other states with more rational knife laws, including neighboring Oregon.
The bad news is that last year's ridiculous anti-knife bill, HB 1006, which would make it illegal to conceal any knife over 3 1/2 inches long even with a Washington concealed pistol permit (since it is not a concealed weapon permit), has been resurrected. In a state where a long coat is a normal part of every outdoor enthusiast's, fisherman's and hunter's attire for a good part of the year, this would turn honest citizens into criminals for carrying a modestly sized sheath knife on their belt, along with quite a few common folding knives longer than the arbitrary length limit.
If you live, work or travel in Washington state, please contact BOTH your Senator and Representative in Olympia and ask them to support SB 1234 and HB 2347, respectively, and ask your Representative to help kill HB 1006 for good. Click here to locate your legislators, or the legislators who represent where you work or travel.
The preceding is courtesy of Knife Rights. For more information click on http://kniferights.org/
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