Follow 2016 Knife Legislation

American Knife & Tool Institute Increases Lobbying Efforts to Ensure Protection of Lawful Knife Owners

2016 AKTI Efforts are Focused on Federal and State Efforts Including the Knife Owners’ Protection Act, Repeal of Restrictions on Auto-Open Knives, and Preemption

AKTI has been successful in removing, clarifying and correcting poorly conceived and ambiguous legislation and educating legislators on knife issues on behalf of the entire knife community. We support reasonable, responsible legislation and measured non-partisan efforts to resolve issues. AKTI promotes knives as an essential and valuable tool in everyday life.

In many states there is a short window of time to get bills introduced, through both houses, agreed upon and signed.  Because the legislative process takes substantial time, it can frequently require several legislative sessions to get bills passed and new laws effective.

AKTI greatly appreciates the many elected officials and their staff who have partnered with us for common sense knife legislation that is reasonable, responsible and supports consistent enforcement.  We also thank other organizations that help with letters, testimony and contacts.  It really does take a team effort and we thank everyone on our team.  

Some bills are introduced by legislators because you, as a constituent, asked them to.  Some bills have been the direct, hard work of our lobbyist and/or company member.  We are sharing with you all pro-knife legislation we know about.  Click on the bill number link for any available additional details.

Be sure to follow what’s happening by bookmarking this page and sign up to receive our Grassroots Supporter emails.  Please take action and contact your elected officials when we send an Action Alert.  We will not contact you needlessly.

US FlagFederal – Senate Bill 1315 –  Knife Owners’ Protection Act (KOPA) of 2015

Issue:  Traveling with Knives
Summary:  Allows individuals to travel in states where their knife might be illegal, provided it is lawful for the knife to be possessed at both the point of travel origin and destination, so long as the knife is transported in a closed container.
Status:  Passed the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee May 2015.


Georgia State FlagIssue:  Carry of knives
Summary:  Changes the definition of knife to change the blade length limit allowed. Knives with a blade length over twelve (12) inches would not be allowed.  Current limit is over five (5) inches.
Status:  To Senate Committee on Judiciary Non-Civil on February 22.


State Flag of IdahoIssue:  Concealed carry
Summary:  Allows concealed carry of dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger for anyone 21 or over, and eliminates restriction on concealed knives over 4 inches in blade length.
Status:  To House Committee on Ways and Means on February 1.



Illinois State FlagIssue:  Selling, manufacturing, buying possessing and carrying of auto-open knives
Summary:  Allows for the legal sell, manufacture, purchase, possession or carry of a knife which has a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in the handle of the knife, commonly referred to as a switchblade.
Status:  Passed Senate on April 19.  Passed House Committee on Judiciary Criminal on May 10. Amended on House Floor June 10, 2016.  Final passage extended to June 30, 2016.  Rereferred to Rules.


IIllinois State Flagssue:  Concealed carry permit of auto-open knives
Summary:  Provides that a person who has been issued a currently valid license under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act may purchase, carry, or possess a switchblade knife; provides the licensee complies with the restrictions on carrying in specific locations as provided in the Firearm Concealed Carry Act.
Status:  Referred to Assignments Committee on July 31.


State Flag of KentuckyIssue:  Local knife laws and definitions
Summary:  Adds knives to the existing firearms preemption statute to prevent city, county or local governments from regulating knives (statewide preemption). Removes the undefined “any knife other than an ordinary pocket knife or hunting knife” from the list of deadly weapons.
Status:  To Senate Committee on State and Local Government on January 21.

Louisiana SB 97

State Flag of LouisianaIssue:  Unlawful knives to carry
Summary:  Provides that concealed handgun permit holders may own and carry concealed an automatic or switchblade knife.
Status:  To Senate Committee on Judiciary B on March 14.



Maryland State FlagIssue:  Local knife laws
Summary:  Establishes that the State preempts the right of a county, municipal corporation, or special taxing district to regulate the purchase, sale, taxation, transfer, manufacture, repair, possession, and transportation of a knife.
Status:  To Senate Committee on Judicial Proceedings, Hearing Scheduled March 1.

Mississippi HB 1294 – DIED IN COMMITTEE

Mississippi State FlagIssue:  Local knife laws
Summary:  Provides that no county, municipality or political subdivision can adopt any ordinance, rule or regulation restricting the possession, sale, purchase, transfer, licensing, manufacture, ownership or use of a knife, knife making components or knives in a manner more restrictive than provided by state law.
Status:  Passed House on March 2.  Died in Senate Committee on March 22.

New York SB 6483 & New York AB 9042 – TO GOVERNOR

New York State FlagIssue:  Knife definitions
Summary:   Excludes knives which have a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist, or arm to overcome the bias toward closure and open the knife from the definition of an illegal switchblade knife and gravity knife.
Status:  Passed the Senate June 15, to Governor

Oklahoma SB 1159 – PASSED – EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Okalahoma State FlagIssue:  Unlawful knives to carry
Summary:  Removes dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife, and sword cane from the list of unlawful items to carry on or about a person, in a purse or other container belonging to the person, whether concealed or unconcealed.
Status:  To Governor April 19.  Chaptered April 26. Chapter No. 217

West Virginia HB 4145 – PASSED – EFFECTIVE JUNE 3, 2016

West Virginia State FlagIssue:  Unlawful knives to carry concealed
Summary:  Removes certain knives as unlawful to carry as deadly weapons unless person is under twenty one (21) years of age.
Status:  Governor’s veto overridden by West Virginia Legislature.


West Virginia HB 4541 – FAILED ADJOURNED

West Virginia State FlagIssue:  Local knife laws
Summary:  Adds knives to the existing firearms preemption Section 8-12-5a of the Code of West Virginia to prevent municipalities from regulating the purchase, transfer, ownership, carry, transport, sell or storage of knives.
Status:  Introduced and to House Committee on Political Subdivisions on February 16.  Failed adjourned


Wisconsin State FlagIssue:  Local knife laws and unlawful knives to carry
Summary:  Adds knives to the existing firearms preemption statute to prevent city, county or local governments from regulating knives (statewide preemption).  Allows for the concealed carry of all knives, including auto-open, commonly called switchblades.
Status:  Signed by Governor, Enacted into Law 2-8-2016. Act 149

Keep checking back for updates.

Here’s what you can do now:

  • Ask your customers, friends and social media contacts to sign up as a free AKTI Grassroots Supporter.  We need people willing to contact their legislators when necessary. Call to Action Alerts will be sent if action is needed in your state.
  • Join AKTI – and do it Today! Our strength is in the support shown by concerned knife owners and the entire knife industry.
  • Make a contribution to our Legislative Fund. Changing laws takes time, resources and MONEY.