Knife Rights: The New Second Amendment Frontier


For a long time, most American’s have only considered the Second Amendment to protect their right to own and carry firearms. Naturally, the hot-button debate over gun rights has all but overshadowed the debate over other “arms”, such as knives.

A non-profit advocacy group, Knife Rights, has been working tirelessly to change that. The group says that laws restricting knife sales and possession are the “new frontier” in the fight over the Second Amendment, and so they have been working tirelessly to repeal long-standing knife bans.

Up until recently, it was a crime in many states to carry certain knives on your person; often times, these laws depended on confusing, archaic terms and descriptions to differentiate between legal knives and illegal knives. Thanks to work of knife rights activists, that is beginning to change.

“We’ve introduced the Second Amendment to a significant number of people who never considered it their amendment,” said Doug Ritter, Knife Rights founder in a statement to Fox News.

Knife Rights and other activists argue that carrying any kind of knife is protected by the Second Amendment. So far, 10 states have taken up the “knife debate”, with most of them having wiped most of their knife laws from the books. In addition, eight states have also passed legislation blocking local governments from passing ordinances restricting an individual’s ability to carry a knife. This is especially important as many localities have passed ordinances that conflict with state law – something which can be very confusing for knife owners.

As it currently stands, two states, Oklahoma and Maine, have passed comprehensive knife rights bills legalizing previously demonized knifes such as switchblades and daggers.

Maine State Rep. Joel Stetkis, was able to successfully lobby in support of  a law that legalized not only switchblades, but all tools with automatic release, which were banned up until recently and had gotten innocent people into trouble, he said.

“People were having their personal property confiscated and charged with a crime and facing jail time … just for having their pocket knife opening in a certain manner,” Stetkis told

“There’s no blood running in the streets, no state has come back and said we shouldn’t have done this and tried to reinstate the laws…Simply carrying a knife in your pocket should not be crime” Knife Rights said.

An investigation by The Village Voice in 2014 turned up 60,000 arrests in New York City alone, most of these arrests were caused by the confusion citizens and police officers have in differentiating switch-blades, which are illegal from spring-assisted knives, which are legal.



3 Comments on "Knife Rights: The New Second Amendment Frontier"

  1. Avatar Tim Irving | May 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm |

    I don’t remember when I first started to carry a knife, but my Dad felt having a knife was important enough that he gave me one for Christmas before I started Kindergarten and I have carried one nearly every day since. Of course, the first one was a multi-bladed knife, more tool than a defensive weapon, but in time I had a second knife and it was primarily a weapon. I’ve carried both since then and never needed to use a knife to defend myself. When my daughter was getting ready to leave for Iraq, the first time I gave her a folder that is easily opened with one hand, she understood that I wished her to always have it with her. But she’s an adult and I have no idea if she actually carried it. I believe that most of us who carry a blade for defensive purposes get a tiny boost of self-confidence from doing so. Would I use it? Well, I trained so that I could and I have very little doubt that I would if the situation was dire enough.

  2. Avatar Carl Hemperley | May 13, 2015 at 6:46 am |

    I have carried a knife for more than 40 years, and I will continue to do so. Much like Tim Irving, I carry one for both defense and Tool purpose. There are times when I carry multiple knives in different manners, simply because you never know what type os situation is going to confront you, and I would much rather be safe than sorry. I am a US Marine, and I could easily carry a handgun, but I have chosen not to to date. However, with the way the world is going, that is also in the process of change. I have applied for my concealed carry permit and will soon be carrying both knife and gun. There are simply too many unknowns in the world today and I refuse to take my or my family’s safety for granted.

  3. I, like many others, have been packing a knife since I was 4 or 5. My dad used to bring me army knives from camp (1950’s) and because we were living in a farm they came handy. After that I’ve had all kinds of folders and never go out of home without one.

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