July 10, 2009

Crapo, Risch Co-Sponsor Amendment To Federal Switchblade Act

Excludes assisted-opening knives from proposed regulations

Washington, DC- Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch co-sponsored legislation this week that adds assisted-opening knives to the list of knives excluded from the Switchblade Act.  The amendment was prompted by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency proposal that would ban those knives from importation into the U.S.

"These knives are clearly not weapons", said Senator Mike Crapo, Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness. "They are important tools for law enforcement, firemen, sportsmen, handymen, recreationist, and gardeners. Approval of this amendment will help ensure the continued availability of these knives that are relied upon daily by sportsmen, workers and citizens."

"If this rule had gone into effect it not only would have been devastating to America's knife manufacturers and dealers, it could have had serious legal implications on the millions of us who carry these kinds of knives," Risch said. "It is yet another example of the federal government trying to enact regulation without careful consideration or a complete understanding of the implications of that policy."

Crapo and Risch, along with the rest of Idaho's delegation, wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in May explaining their concerns about the proposal and noting that it could be interpreted to cover "all knives using a spring" including a Boy Scout knife. They also expressed their concern it goes against rulings by many state legislatures and state courts.

The amendment was added by Unanimous Consent to HR 2892, the 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which passed the Senate Thursday night by a vote of 84-6.