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Congress Passes NRA-backed Legislation Protecting Pocketknife Classification

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fairfax, Va. – This week the United States Senate passed crucial legislation that will protect pocketknives used by tens of millions of Americans. The amendment, actively supported by the National Rifle Association, was included in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill and will keep pocketknives from being classified as illegal switchblades. U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) authored the amendment and were instrumental in its passage through Congress. U.S. Congressmen Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) also played vital roles in the amendment’s passage in the House.

"This amendment was necessary to prevent commonly-used pocketknives from being branded as illegal switchblades," said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. "The National Rifle Association is grateful to Senators Cornyn, Pryor and Hatch and Congressmen Latta and Minnick, whose leadership fixed a provision that would have criminalized tens of millions of law-abiding Americans -- including millions of hunters and sportsmen."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) proposed amending the Switchblade Knife Act of 1958 earlier this year, which would have changed the interpretation of the definition of switchblade knives to include assisted-opening knives. Assisted-opening knives are frequently used by hunters, anglers, farmers, ranchers, firefighters, law enforcement and emergency personnel and others who may need to open a knife with only one hand. The measure, which will prevent this re-classification, now awaits President Obama’s signature.


Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.