Comes now House Bill 2033, taking effect July 1 and which, according to the legislative summary, “prohibits municipalities from regulating the transportation, possession, carrying, sales, transfers, purchases, gifting, licensing, registration, or uses of a knife or knife-making components. In addition, the bill prohibits a municipality from passing any ordinance, resolution, or rule that “would be more restrictive regarding knife manufacturing than the manufacture of any other commercial product.”
Except, perhaps, in Lawrence.
The Lawrence City Commission refused Tuesday night to amend the local ordinance to prohibit concealed carry of a variety of knives, including switchblades, daggers, dirks, straight-edged razors and stilettos. Lawrence’s ordinance had language outlawing the concealed carry of essentially all knives other than standard pocket knives with a blade measuring 4 inches or less. The commission, in objecting to the new state law, hoped to send a message back to Topeka.
The state law was changed on a unanimous vote in the Senate and by a 95-26 margin in the House. Apparently the argument that such knives are needed for farm and construction work as well as for hunting and fishing carried the day. Is it possible that some legislator argued that one-handed individuals needed switchblades? (If you’re still scratching your heads, fill in the blank with your own explanation.) At least the legislation removing restrictions on knives also altered the definition of “municipality” so that it didn’t include school districts, jails and juvenile correctional facilities. It’s good to know there are a few limits on where legislators believe concealed knives are appropriate.
City staff attorney Randy Larkin, in so many words, cautioned that the commission was tilting at windmills because state law will prevail. Nevertheless, the city’s action is, indeed, reverberating across the state, having been noted by various news outlets.
It will be interesting to see whether this and costly provisions of the handgun concealed carry statutes ultimately are revisited by lawmakers.