If Supreme Court precedent has not taught us anything, the Second Amendment applies to all bearable arms. We learned that even includes arms not imagined by our founders, so naturally that means knives are a protected arm. In 1958 a law was enacted that severely limited how commerce could occur with switchblade knives. Knife Rights, an organization dedicated to the repeal of unconstitutional laws regulating bladed arms, recently announced they’re challenging portions of the law in a federal court.
Knife Rights has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of portions of the Federal Switchblade Act (Title 15 Chapter 29 §1241), originally enacted in 1958, that restricts the introduction into interstate commerce of common automatically opening (“switchblade”) knives. It also challenges the ban on their possession on Native American reservations and in U.S. territories. The definition of a “switchblade knife” includes gravity knives and butterfly knives.
Joining Knife Rights in the case are members Russell Arnold and Jeffery Folloder and retailer members RGA Auction Services d.b.a. Firearm Solutions and MOD Specialties. They are represented by attorneys John W. Dillon at the Dillon Law Group and R. Brent Cooper at Cooper & Scully.
Named as defendants are Merrick Garland, Attorney General of the United States, and the United States Department of Justice. The lawsuit, Knife Rights, Inc. v. Garland, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Click here to read the complaint.
Knife Rights has seen to the repeal or enjoining of many state level prohibitions affecting different knives, circumstances surrounding them, and regulations concerning the keeping and bearing of them. Seeing this federal challenge will help pave the way for further future deregulation throughout the Union. With knives strongly defined as protected arms, it’s difficult for anyone to argue that such regulations are constitutional.
In its complaint, the plaintiffs allege that the Federal government’s restrictions and bans are unconstitutional and said that “there can be no question that knives are “arms” protected under the plain text of the Second Amendment.…And indeed, the Supreme Court made clear in [NYSRPA v. Bruen] that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect the right to acquire, possess, and carry arms for self-defense and all other lawful purposes.”
Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, “Under Supreme Court precedent, the Federal Switchblade Act cannot pass muster and must be enjoined. The Federal government has no right to restrict interstate commerce in commonly possessed automatically opening knives of any type, or to ban their possession. The interstate trade in automatically opening knives is essential to the right to acquire these common arms. After 65 years it is time to end this anachronism that was deceitfully enacted and which remains an insult to common sense.”
Attorney John Dillon said, “The Federal Switchblade Act has always been constitutionally questionable. After Bruen, there is no doubt this Act has been violating the Second Amendment rights of Americans for decades. Forty five states currently allow automatically opening knives to one degree or another, 36 with no restrictions whatsoever on possession. They are unquestionably common and therefore cannot be banned, either in interstate commerce or on Native American Reservations and U.S. territories. It is past time to free the switchblades.”
While this challenge won’t have an immediate effect in states like New Jersey, where automatic knives are banned, in addition to the bearing of knives for self-defense, if triumphant, it will add to arrows in the quiver of deconstructing bad policy in progressive strongholds. Knife Rights and their efforts to liberate the citizens of the U.S. from prohibitions levied against their civil liberties needs to be commended. We’ll be watching the progress of this case as it advances and hopefully report back that a judge sees it fit that the law shall be cut to shreds.