A federal act that would protect law-abiding knife owners traveling from state to state from various conflicting knife laws within those states has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, a Knife Rights internet news release reported.
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) introduced Knife Rights' Knife Owners' Protection Act (KOPA), H.R. 3478.
“KOPA will protect law-abiding knife owners travelling throughout the U.S. from the vagaries of restrictive state and local laws. As long as possession of the particular knife is legal in the state where the journey starts and ends, and provided the knife is secured in accordance with KOPA, a knife owner would no longer be threatened with arrest simply for traveling from one place to another,” Knife Rights headman Doug Ritter noted. He added that KOPA is the first proactive pro-knife federal legislation introduced in the nation's history.
Ritter said Knife Rights needs your help to gain additional co-sponsors for the bill. If your representative is not already a co-sponsor, call or e-mail and urge him/her to co-sponsor KOPA. You can find your representative at: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Additional co-sponsors are: Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI), Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), and Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX)
“Those who travel across the country with knives for work, recreation and self defense are presently subject to arrest and prosecution under a confusing patchwork of inconsistent state and local laws and regulations, said Ritter, “what is perfectly legal in one place may be a serious crime in another, resulting in forfeiture of property and carrying significant penalties including jail time. Enforcement is not uniform even within jurisdictions and is subject to the vagaries of political expediency at times. Sportsmen and workmen who travel are particularly vulnerable.
“The culmination of almost three years of effort, Knife Rights developed the Knife Owners' Protection Act to address this absurd situation in a commonsense manner that is fair and equitable and is based on established legislative and legal precedent,” Ritter said. “We've fought hard to defend the right to carry a knife in the individual states, cities and towns, but KOPA represents a key initiative to protect law-abiding knife owners simply passing through areas like New York City where possessing the most commonly owned pocketknife in America today, the one-hand opening folding knife, may result in arrest and prosecution.”
KOPA has teeth to defend those who travel under its protection because it also provides penalties for law enforcement, prosecutors and others who ignore the protections provided. Similar to the protections and penalties generally provided in USC 1983 to those whose civil rights are violated, a falsely arrested citizen can be compensated for the expense of defending themselves from an unwarranted violation of the rights Congress has protected in KOPA.
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