On February 12, 2020, HB 2652 was introduced in Kansas, and is pending in the Kansas legislature that would make some modest changes to K.S.A. 21-6304, Criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The statute, as now written, restricts persons convicted of various crimes from possessing any weapon. ‘Weapon’ is currently defined as a ‘firearm or knife’ with “Knife” being defined as:
“Knife” means a dagger, dirk, switchblade, stiletto, straight-edged razor or any other dangerous or deadly cutting instrument of like character.
If enacted, H-2652 would exclude some pocket-knives from the prohibition. The revised definition would provide:
“Knife” means a dagger, dirk, switchblade, stiletto, straight-edged razor or any other dangerous or deadly cutting instrument of like character, but does not include an ordinary pocket knife with a blade no longer than four inches.
HB 2652 would also add the following exclusion to the current prohibition:
This section does not apply to a person possessing a knife when used as a tool in connection with lawful employment or a kitchen knife used as intended for food preparation or consumption.
While AKTI did not initiate HB 2652, we note that it does illustrate some important truths about the role of knives in everyday lives. Knives are tools. Knives are in the workplace and knives are essential to food preparation and consumption. Millions of people carry a pocketknife for routine tasks and with no intent, or even a thought of unwholesome uses.
There is a benefit to society when a post custodial felon is rehabilitated and resumes a normal productive existence. Knives will necessarily be present in any normal life.
When knives are outlawed, everyone will be an outlaw.