June 14, 2009
U.S. Customs and Border Protection want to classify your folding knife as a switchblade.
TNP Call to Action: CBP Outlaws Knives
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office,
Attn: International Trade Regulations and Rulings,
799 9th Street,
N.W. Washington, D.C. 20229//
Attn: Intellectual Property and Restricted Merchandise Branch//
I have become aware that CBP is revoking earlier rulings that assisted opening knives (that require manual manipulation to deploy!) are NOT switchblades. Since many courts and legislative bodies rely upon these CBP knife definitions, this revised ruling will have broad and unintended consequences. Your re-definition of these folding knives will create foolish bureaucracy and regulation, criminalize millions of good people, create more economic hardship by destroying the knife and tool industry (and the military/LE access to these items as well), and in the end will only lessen public safety.
• Knives are already highly regulated with current laws, both on national and local levels. Millions of good people across the country use folding knives for duty, utility tasks, outdoors activities, emergency services, rescue operations, and for legal defensive purposes. This CBP interpretation burdens law enforcement and will instantly criminalize about 40 million good people. It is very unlikely anyone would dispose of any knives and it will create unnecessary enmity between citizenry and government.
• The economy is failing. And yet your ruling will make it worse. The outlawing of assisted opening AND most other folding knives with this ruling will destroy a thriving industry that employs thousands upon thousands of people. This is an industry that only needs to be left alone to succeed. And for years, succeed they have despite tremendous economic challenges. It is also this knife and tool industry that supplies these items to our armed forces and law enforcement officers. The CBP ruling will crush it and lead us further towards a full-on economic Depression. The military and police will have nowhere to turn for their knives then. Is this what you want?
• A knife is a viable and legal defensive tool, often carried by reasonable and good people. This CBP revocation is a capricious assault of these defensive and utility tools legally used by millions of Americans. Like a firearm, these tools should enjoy the same Constitutional protections (arms) and the bad guys will always have such items and they always have. It is only the law abiding citizen that will be felonized by this assault on knife possession. Again, is this what you want and is this good law?
• With this re-definition, most folding knives will be interpreted as illegal despite the smokescreen of disinformation your office seems to be dispensing over this issue. This re-definition of switchblades is far reaching and carries the aforementioned political and societal liabilities. It will do nothing to increase public safety. At the very least, this matter should be open to public commentary for 120 days. Please extend this feedback period and open up the option for emailed responses. More to the point, I feel this issue will be a political liability for your office and I urge you to ABANDON this ruling immediately. For the record then, I FULLY oppose your offices actions re-classifying these knives as switchblades. I will thank you for adhering to previous switchblade definitions and in doing so you will gain my political support of your office again.
[YOUR NAME HERE]