In some areas of the country you could be arrested for carrying a pocket knife even if you are just passing through. Two U.S. senators believe this is unbecoming of a free country and have introduced a bill to protect knife owners. According to U.S. Senators Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, if you’re traveling from point A to point C with a knife that is legal in both locations, you shouldn’t have to worry about being charged with a crime in-between at point B.
The senators introduced a bill recently that would provide the same protections to knife owners that already cover gun owners who travel across different jurisdictions. The Knife Owners Protection Act (KOPA) provides safe harbor to Americans travelling with a knife where it is lawful for the knife to be possessed at both the points of origin and destination, so long as the knife is transported in accordance with specific requirements making them inaccessible during travel. The bill mirrors the protections found in the Firearms Owners Protection Act that Congress passed in 1986 to protect those legally transporting firearms.
“Knives are an essential tool for hunters and various occupations and the right to carry them with you when you’re on the road is something that should be protected,” said Enzi. “A few overzealous states or cities shouldn’t be in the business of punishing folks for what is legal in most parts of the country just because they passed through their jurisdiction. A sportsman from Wyoming shouldn’t fear they are going to be charged, fined, or arrested because they are lawfully traveling with a hunting or pocket knife across state lines.”
"This is a common sense provision that protects responsible knife owners and respects the rules in different jurisdictions. This bill would go a long ways in protecting innocent travelers from governmental overreach," said Lee.
The senators noted that the KOPA legislation is necessary because what is perfectly legal in one place may be a serious crime in another, carrying significant penalties including jail time.
Click here to read a one-pager on the bill.
Click here to read the bill.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.