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Call to Action: Pocket Knives to be BANNED on 6/21/09

I just finished listening to Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk podcast [1st hour 6/7/09 – link to listen or download] detailing how the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have prosposed a rule change to ban pocket knives.

Synopsis: CBP issued a proposed rule change in what amounts to a ‘newsletter’ that would essentially outlaw all pocket knives that could be opened with one hand by re-classifying them as switchblades. The kicker is that they only will allow 30 days to receive comments –  a ridiculously short period – and all comments have to be submitted by snail mail! It took two weeks (the newsletter was dated MAY 21, 2009) before news of this change made it around to the notice of knife rights advocates  so now we only have two weeks left (until June 21st) for us to mail and them to receive our letters. Not postmarked by 6/21 mind you, but received. Furthermore, unless you send it certified mail they can claim it wasn’t received.

Pretty damn cruel don’t you think?  They have purposely made it as difficult as possible to submit comments and are counting on YOUR apathy to let this become law!

KnifeRights.org has the complete rundown on this lowdown attack.

I strongly suggest you read it and act! [Read here.]

UpdateSayUncle has the latest news:

American Knife and Tool Institute:

AKTI has learned that U.S. Customs, at 5:00 p.m. eastern time on June 10, 2009, has denied AKTI’s request for a comment period extension.

Update (June 22, 2009): From Doug Ritter of KnifeRights.org

Just a quick update on the latest news regarding Customs’ Pocket Knife Grab.

National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) submitted Comments opposing CBP proposal on behalf of the NRA’s nearly 4 million members “most of whom carry at least one pocket knife on a regular basis,” and requesting “the ruling reversal be abandoned.”

Read their letter here:  http://bit.ly/tyUA4

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus has urged U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to withdraw CBP Proposal.

Read their media release here:  http://bit.ly/rhqh1

We expect more news from groups opposing this Customs proposal later today.  Start following us on Twitter to get news as soon as we have it:  http://twitter.com/KnifeRights

What Next?

There does seem to be some confusion on, based on emails we have received and posts on various online forums, as to what happens next.  So, just to clear up any questions, this proposal does NOT now take effect.

The comment period has ended. CBP now has 30 days to do something and there are a number of possibilities.

1) They can issue a final rule which may or may not be exactly the same as the proposal (they can make revisions based on comments received.

2) They can open the proposal for comment again with or without changes, or

3) They can kill the proposal entirely. Clearly, we would prefer the latter, but nobody is betting on that.

If they issue a final rule, then it becomes effective 90 days later. If that happens, you can expect that there will be legal challenges that could potentially delay enforcement, as well as legislative solutions being pursued. This is only the end of the first round. Lot’s more to happen.

In the meantime, we are working with Congress on legislative solutions NOW and I hope to have some announcements in this regard this week. Of course, those can take time to have effect and may or may not actually end up being passed. I can assure you that all those emails and letters to Congress are having an effect, as is the support of NRA and other major constituent groups who have brought this issue to their attention. You can expect to be asked to write again, once these legislative initiatives begin in earnest.

Update (June 22, 2009): Also from Doug Ritter of KnifeRights.org

Breaking News: We have been working closely with Representative Bob Latta (R-OH) and are pleased to announce that Reps. Latta and Walt Minnick (D-ID) have co-sponsored an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill to Restrict Funds to Implement the proposed CBP rule.

Our thanks to Reps. Latta and Minnick for taking a leadership role in this fight.  This is just the first step in a complicated process, but it is important.  We will post more information as soon as we get it.

As reported in an earlier News Slice, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus has urged U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to withdraw CBP Proposal. We have now posted the Congressional letter with 80 signatures here: http://bit.ly/8mU3w

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