UPDATE: SB 5782 passed out of the Committee on Law & Justice by a unanimous vote on February 21, 2019, and on March 5, 2019, passed the Senate with only one “no” vote. The bill then stalled in the House after an amendment was added. We’ll be back for next year’s session!
A Senate Committee on Law & Justice hearing was held on Monday, February, 18, on bipartisan SB 5782, a knife bill that would remove “spring blade knife” (aka automatic or switchblade) from Washington State Statute RCW 9.41.250, allowing law-abiding individuals to possess and sell these knives. A vote is expected as soon as today.
Testimony was heard from Spencer Fraser of SOG Knives & Tools (AKTI Board of Regent member), knife retailer Jeff Swanson, and Mike Vellekamp, owner of V Knives, who has been the driving force behind this knife bill. The televised hearing can be viewed here. Also testifying for the Second Amendment organization, Knife Rights, was their lobbyist Todd Rathner.
Since 2012, knife manufacturers in the state of Washington are allowed to manufacture automatic knives with the passage of HB 2347 that also clarified the definition of a switchblade knife, and extended the legal possession of automatics to active military, firefighters, and rescue responders, in addition to law enforcement. Mike Vellekemp, then working for Fox Knives, was instrumental in getting that legislation introduced as well.
“Allowing citizens to purchase valuable automatic knives, knives that are legal in the majority of U.S. states, will help Washington knife businesses thrive and create new jobs, ” said Jan Billeb, AKTI Excutive Director. “We urge the Senate Committee on Law & Justice to move SB 5782 and the legisture to pass it this session.” (2019 Session adjourns April 28)