Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spring-Assisted Still Not a Switchblade

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 2:39 PM

There’s a fine line between a switchblade and a spring-assisted knife, but now that line is federally approved.

The House of Representatives approved a report last week that prevents the Department of Homeland Security from classifying spring-assisted knives as switchblades—which are illegal in some states. The difference if a fine one, since switchblade users push a button on the handle to release a spring-loaded blade, and spring-assisted knife owners use a flick of their thumb to release a spring-loaded blade.

While it may seem like a minor issue, it’s one that was championed by Rep. Walt Minnick, who actually proved his point that spring-assisted knives are widely used by law-abiding citizens by pulling out just such a knife during congressional testimony on the issue.

“Like most Idahoans, I carry a pocketknife,” Minnick said in a press release. “That shouldn’t make me a criminal. Passage of this bill means that the kinds of knives we use while rafting Idaho rivers or fishing its streams or hunting its mountains, or even just to open a stubborn package at the office, will remain legal and free of regulation.”

The vote not only comes down on the side of outdoorsmen, but for at least one big business in Minnick’s district. Buck Knives, one of the most well-known knife manufactures in the country, is located in Post Falls.

The move also earned the approval of one group that came down against Minnick in the general election, the National Rifle Association.

“The National Rifle Association would like to thank Congressman Minnick, whose leadership helped fix a provision that would have criminalized millions of law-abiding Americans—including many hunters and sportsmen in Idaho,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist, in a press release.

Of course, a certain BW staffer will stick with the switchblade she keeps in her purse. This is Idaho after all.

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