Archive for Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kansas on cutting edge of knife rights

July 28, 2013


TOPEKA — Kansas residents may now carry switchblades, daggers and other types of knives in most public places without fear of arrest under a new law that a lobbying group says makes Kansas one of the nation’s blade-friendliest states.

Legislation lifting the state’s prohibition on several types of knives was signed by Gov. Sam Brownback in April and took effect July 1. The Senate approved it 40-0 after it was amended to clarify that school districts, jails and juvenile detention facilities could keep their bans in place. The House passed it 95-26.

The driving force was a national group called Knife Rights, which contends the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear bladed instruments as well as firearms, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Knife Rights lobbyist Todd Rathner, who traveled to Topeka to speak for House Bill 2033, praised the Kansas law’s prohibition on enforcement by local governments of any type of knife ordinance.

“In terms of knife law, Kansas is darn near perfect now,” Rathner said.

According to Knife Rights, Kansas joined Arizona, Utah, New Hampshire, Georgia, Alaska and Tennessee as states that have enacted such “pre-emption” statutes preventing regulation of knives.

The Kansas Association of Police Chiefs testified against the bill. Rathner said that should not concern the public because he has heard from law enforcement officers anecdotally that kitchen knives are more often used in crimes than the types that were previously banned.

Some House Democrats cited safety issues. Jim Ward, a former Wichita prosecutor, said switchblades were banned decades ago because they were used mostly by gangs and criminals. Ward said the potential for harm from the weapons outweighs any good from legalizing them.

But proponents said switchblades can be useful for emergency workers, farmers and others who need to open a knife with one hand while holding something with the other.


James Nelson 4 years, 8 months ago

And this is something to be proud of? When I was a very young man I recall the law changing to outlaw switchblade knives. Even with a tender mind I knew the reason and accepted it as a necessary thing. Some laws are intended to protect us from one another. Did lawmakers ever consider that the reason most knife infractions involved kitchen knives was because switchblades were outlawed? And now what happens when one tries to board a plane with a switchblade to fly from one city in Kansas to another within the state? I suppose some law abiding idiots will try to arrest the airport security person who tries to take the knife away. Will Kansas ever grow up

question4u 4 years, 8 months ago

Why does the future of Kansas have to be the dark old days?

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

Give people more freedom and they complain about it. It would be funny if it wasn't sad.

I commend the governor on deleting a law that curbs our freedom.

elliottaw 4 years, 8 months ago

You don't seem to understand what freedom is, it's not being able to do what ever you please when ever you please

balancedscales 4 years, 8 months ago

free·dom noun 1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial. 2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc. 3. the power to determine action without restraint. 4. political or national independence. 5. personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.

However, when ones actions deny another their right to liberty, it is a problem. Security is not a right, it must be earned.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

Now I have the freedom to buy and carry a switchblade. I understand that part and I like it.

Keith 4 years, 8 months ago

Did they leave intact the part of the law that forbids bringing a knife to a gun fight?

1029 4 years, 8 months ago

This is good law. Every time I've run into someone who made me wish I had my switchblade with me I didnt have it because I was afraid if I got pulled over or something the cops would find it. Now I can carry it everywhere and have it to use whenever I want to use it.

average 4 years, 8 months ago

"Every time I've run into someone who made me wish I had my switchblade with me..."

Jeesh... sounds a regular occurrence? I'd look into a new line of work or something. I can't actually think of a single time in my entire life where I've run into someone who made me wish I was carrying a switchblade.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 4 years, 8 months ago

You still can't bring your switchblade, or other "evil" knives onto the KU campus. It may be handy in your work, but you're still not allowed to bring it.

I have my deceased grandfather's switchblade. It is a nice tool for legal, one-handed work. I still cant/won't bring it to campus. There are other (legal) one-handed knife options so I won't bring it in. There is no real differences between that switchblade and a thumb operated pocket knife but I won't bring it. Modern life is funny that way. I'm amused.

gr 4 years, 8 months ago

"that kitchen knives are more often used in crimes than the types that were previously banned."

Because people don't kill people, paring knives do.

Shane Powers 4 years, 8 months ago

I have to laugh at all these "gang" comments. Gangs in the 1950's carried switchblades. You know, like A West Side Story, Grease, etc. I just picture a bunch of modern "gangsters" meeting at Club Magic, snapping their fingers in unison. Then someone gets shot and the whole switchblade argument seemed a little silly.

Russell Fryberger 4 years, 8 months ago

Now I can take the comb off my switch and put the blade back in, woohoo.

rtwngr 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm going to break out my "Jets" gang jacket and wear it around a while. If I had hair, I'd comb into a duck tail.

oldbaldguy 4 years, 8 months ago

carried a Gerber guardian for years. now it is legal.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 8 months ago

Average, law abiding Americans have been standing by and watching the special interests and Plutocrat dominated government erase our freedoms, our opportunities, and our incomes.

Like Jim Bowie at the Alamo, there is a point where you draw a line in the sand.

It is starting to be a contest between politicians and us.

Protect all your freedoms. It is your job as an American. We are not criminals but the government at times treats people like they are not worth much.

fiddleback 4 years, 8 months ago

I really hope that's a sarcastic parody of conservative martyrdom. Otherwise, if this is really your "line in the sand," you ought to reconsider who's really erasing "our opportunities and our incomes." It generally isn't sniveling politicians levying some of the lowest marginal tax rates in half a century, or requiring you to buy health insurance. It's the economic cannibalism practiced by the corporate oligarchs-- they own those politicians and allow no onerous regulation to pass unless they can still slither around it.

And worst of all this oligarchy is enabled by chest-thumping useful idiots all too eager to reverse a 100 years of public sector investment in infrastructure, education, and programs for the common good. Yes, let's strain to return to the days of robber barons and disaffected frontier peasants fighting amongst each other for a crude semblance of quality of life while clinging to delusions of total self-reliance. Truly a race to the bottom in which Kansas seems all too happy to compete. Yee-haw.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 8 months ago

I think you have demonstrated very well what I think is the biggest problem right now in politics. You assumed because I had no problem with switchblades being legal that I also was aligned with right wing extremism.

I am puzzled why Americans are so easily influenced to choose sides and positions in our two party system and at the same time give up their ability to think as individual Americans. We are so easily manipulated that it is no wonder that politicians believe that votes are for sale to the highest bidder.

Tom McCune 4 years, 8 months ago

There are some legitimate uses for "automatic" knives. I used to own a store that sold police, military, and EMT supplies. People in those jobs need to be able to use one hand to hold a tourniquet (for example) and use the other hand to get out their knife and cut away clothing or debris in an emergency situation. This was long ago in another state, but we could legally sell automatics to people with police, EMT, or military ID,

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 8 months ago

Take an out the front switchblade knife and hold it against a sheet of paper. It will barely penetrated the paper and the blade will usually be "derailed". It is one of the weakest knife designs.

The reason for outlawing switchblades was completely for political reasons. Politicians wanting to get votes scared the public regarding these knives. Common kitchen knives are involved in most if not a large percentage of knive attacks.

The point is that American voters have to start being smarter about how issues are being used to manipulate us.

When I was a young boy I received a knife as a gift from my father and it filled me with a sense of responsibility and joy. It was the same when I received my first shotgun. To have the government treat me or my father like a criminal is the direction this country wants to go. Deny it all you want but we cannot trust policians who bait us with false issues.

oldbaldguy 4 years, 8 months ago

russians had a pretty strong spring knife they issued to speztnaz. it could put a hole in you. people will carry a blade legal or not if that is what they want to do. same with a firearm. no amount of laws will stop it.

ksjayhawk74 4 years, 8 months ago

"Rathner said that should not concern the public because he has heard from law enforcement officers anecdotally that kitchen knives are more often used in crimes than the types that were previously banned."

He's saying that since switchblades haven't been used in crimes, then we should go ahead and make them legal again...

Maybe, and this could be a stretch... Maybe switchblades have not been used in crimes because...they have been illegal and really hard to find?

If the logic for ending a ban on something is that said item hasn't been used in crimes lately, then anything can be legalized.

oldbaldguy 4 years, 8 months ago

switchblades can be bought anywhere, even when they were illegal in Kansas. I would not own one, to unreliable unless you spend a lot of money on a quality product.

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