We have both good and bad news from Washington State. Starting with the good, two companion bills, Senate Bill 6179 and House Bill 2347, would make it legal to manufacture spring-assisted and switchblade knives in the state of Washington. These bills also clarify the definition of a switchblade, or what is referred to in Oregon law as a “spring blade knife,” so as to not include assisted-opening knives that are currently subject to adverse interpretation of the state statute making them technically illegal. In addition, this bill would expand the existing law enforcement exemption for possession of “spring blade knives” to members of the military, full-time first responders and those citizens who hold a valid Washington concealed pistol license (WA is a “shall issue” state).
Knife Rights Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rather, will be in Olympia on Wednesday to testify in support of these bills on behalf of Washington’s knife owners. The bills are a big incremental step forward in a state where any knife with a spring assisted blade has been interpreted as being an illegal knife and where Washington knife manufacturers, such as Fox Knives USA and SOG, were prohibited from even manufacturing these knives in the state, sending those jobs to other states with more rational knife laws, including neighboring Oregon.
The bad news is that last year’s ridiculous anti-knife bill, HB 1006, that would make it illegal to conceal any knife over 3 1/2 inches long, even with a WA concealed pistol permit (since it is not a concealed weapon permit), has been resurrected. In a state where a long coat is a normal part of every outdoor enthusiast’s, fisherman’s and hunter’s attire for a good part of the year, this would turn honest citizens into criminals for carrying a modestly sized sheath knife on their belt, along with quite a few common folding knives longer than the arbitrary length limit. It’s time to put a stake through the heart of this asinine legislation and Knife Rights is working on that.
If you live, work or travel in Washington state, please contact BOTH your Senator and Representative in Olympia and ask them to support SB 1234 and HB 2347, respectively and ask your Representative to help kill HB 1006 for good. Click here to locate your legislators, or the legislators who represent where you work or travel.
Reprinted with permission from Knife Rights www.KnifeRights.org This article appeared in Knife Rights News Slice – January 21, 2012
On February 10 the House passed HB 2347, the bill which would make it legal to manufacture spring-assisted and switchblade knives in the state of Washington. The Senate passed SB 6179 out of committee. Knife Rights encourages interested citizens to contact their Senate representatives to request they support SB 6179.