According to KnifeRights e-mail news, the Washington state House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass HB2347 that would clarify the definition of “spring blade” knives (automatic knives) so as to clearly make assisted-opening knives legal in the state. This allows for both the sale and manufacture of assisted-opening knives in Washington state. HB2347 also makes it legal to manufacture automatic knives in Washington state. In addition, it would expand the existing law enforcement exemption for possession of automatic knives to members of the military and full-time first responders.
Senate Bill 6179 was passed out of the State Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Session last week with a single no vote. An effort will now be made to conform the similar, but not identical, Senate bill to the House bill by a floor amendment, which would allow for quicker passage. Alternatively, the two bills end up crossing each other, but either way, KnifeRights officials stated they are hopeful a bill will end up on the desk of Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire for her signature soon.
The bill was requested by Washington state knife companies Fox USA, Blade-Tech and SOG Specialty Knives & Tools. Knife Rights lobbyist Todd Rathner testified on the bill and assisted in making critical changes to assure the measure would free the hands of in-state knife companies.
While Knife Rights officials stated they do not believe there should be any distinction between citizens and government employees when it comes to possessing life-saving tools, the officials also seem to understand political reality. “We will be working with Washington state residents and officials to change this in the future when the political landscape is more favorable to such a rational move forward,” the KnifeRights e-mail news release noted.
Meanwhile, the current bills are a huge step forward for Washington knife owners who might be subject to prosecution for assisted-opening knives and for the state's knife companies.
If you live, work or travel in Washington state, please contact your state senator and ask him/her to support the measure.
For more information click on www.KnifeRights.org
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