Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire signed HB2347 into law Thursday, March 29, at a signing ceremony at the state capitol. This important legislation makes Washington state more friendly to knife owners and manufacturers by clarifying the definition of so-called “spring blade” knives (automatics/switchblades) so as to clearly make assisted-opening knives legal in the state.
The clarification allows for both sale and manufacture of assisted-opening knives in Washington. HB2347 also makes it legal to manufacture automatics in the state of Washington. In addition, it would expand the existing law enforcement exemption for possession of automatics to members of the military and full-time first responders.
Thanks to all who called and emailed throughout the process and helped to make this happen.
Mike Vellekamp, one of the owners of Fox Knives USA, helped spearhead the effort to get the bill passed and was on hand with the governor when she signed the bill. If it were not for Vellekamp's initiative and hard work, things would not be moving forward for knife owners and manufacturers in the state. He garnered the support of his 25th District Senator Jim Kastama and Rep. Bruce Dammeier to introduce the legislation that will benefit the state’s knife business, public safety personnel and individual knife owners.
In testimony before the state house judiciary committee Vellekamp noted, “We need to get rid of the stigma that these are weapons and we need to start calling them tools because that’s what they are. The push for this bill is so that we can ensure the local law enforcement branches, our military and our firefighters get to use these valuable tools because when they get trapped, they need to get out. They need a tool at the ready that’s going to be there without needing another hand to open it.”
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