Knives Illustrated - - News - BY KNIVES IL­LUS­TRATED STAFF

This job and process is never sim­ple,” says Knife Rights Di­rec­tor of Leg­isla­tive Af­fairs, Todd Rath­ner. “After 20 years of lob­by­ing, I’ve learned that I should never be sur­prised by an ar­gu­ment and to never count some­one out be­cause of party af­fil­i­a­tion or their ini­tial ob­jec­tion to an is­sue.”

As Rath­ner and Knife Rights Chair­man Doug Rit­ter will at­test, there’s been plenty of ac­tiv­ity on the Knife Rights front, even as the year is wind­ing down.

Knife Rights’ bill to mostly re­peal Illi­nois’ switchblade ban, SB 607, was signed on Au­gust 11, 2017. It was ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately upon sign­ing. The new law al­lows pos­ses­sion of au­to­matic knives by those who have a Firearm Owner’s Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion (FOID) Card, which al­lows the in­di­vid­ual to pur­chase firearms and am­mu­ni­tion. This is not a pos­ses­sion with CCW law, as some have sug­gested. The new law also al­lows for man­u­fac­ture and sale of au­to­matic knives by those not hold­ing a FOID card.

Rit­ter ex­plained that this bill, which was fi­nally passed and signed into law, started out last year as a full switchblade ban re­peal. Then the Chair­man of the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee in­sisted it be amended, so a switchblade would only be le­gal with a Firearm Con­cealed Carry Li­cense (FCCL).

Rath­ner went to Illi­nois and was able to ne­go­ti­ate a com­pro­mise that al­lowed for pos­ses­sion and carry by hold­ers of a Firearm Owner’s Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion (FOID) card.

To put this into per­spec­tive, in Illi­nois there are ap­prox­i­mately 2.1 mil­lion FOID card hold­ers ver­sus only 223,637 FCCL hold­ers (Illi­nois was the last state to le­gal­ize con­cealed carry).

“I never dis­close pre­cise strat­egy or pri­vate con­ver­sa­tions,” says Rath­ner. “What I will say is that I put is­sues in terms that my au­di­ence can re­late to.”

While there, he said he spent a few days on the ground in Illi­nois meet­ing with the bill spon­sors and the com­mit­tee chair­man, as well as folks from lead­er­ship.

“We dis­cussed how these knives are tools use­ful to ev­ery­day work­ers and trades­peo­ple, as well as for sports­men and women and that it’s about the per­son, not the tool,” he says.

It must be noted that with­out state knife law pre­emp­tion, Chicago and other cities can still ban switch­blades.

“It is al­ways grat­i­fy­ing to con­vince folks of the value of my ar­gu­ment,” says Rath­ner. “As a long-time knife nut, it’s es­pe­cially sat­is­fy­ing to en­able folks to pos­sess and carry their knife of choice.”


Once the Colorado bill was en­acted, knife man­u­fac­turer Spy­derco in Golden, Colorado, gra­ciously hosted an en­act­ment cer­e­mony for the re­peal of the state’s switchblade ban.

At Spy­derco’s en­act­ment cer­e­mony, Rit­ter said, “You of­ten hear that one per­son can make a dif­fer­ence, although lots of peo­ple are skep­ti­cal about that. I am here to tell you that it’s true, and in this case that per­son is Air Force Mas­ter Sergeant (Re­tired) John Blood­good. He was the spark that got this go­ing. He per­sisted over a num­ber of years in press­ing his Sen­a­tor, Owen Hill, to re­peal Colorado’s Switchblade ban. We’d not be here to­day but for his per­se­ver­ance and pas­sion to get this done. We honor and con­grat­u­late John for his ef­forts.”

Blood­good and spon­sors Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. Steve Leb­sock all re­ceived awards, as well as knives do­nated by Spy­derco. KI

Above: John Blood­good (left), pic­tured with Doug Rit­ter of Knife Rights, re­ceiv­ing an award for his per­sis­tence in push­ing Sen. Owen Hill to re­peal the Colorado switchblade ban.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.