The Knife Owner’s Protection Act of 2014 (KOPA), a bill designed to give legal protection to knife owners traveling through states with restrictive knife-carry laws, was introduced to the U.S. Senate earlier this month.
You can read the entire text of the bill here.
The bill, introduced by Mike Enzi, a Republican senator from Wyoming, allows for the transportation of knives that are locked away and inaccessible during transportation. The bill also legalizes the “carry in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle a knife or tool designed for enabling escape in an emergency that incorporates a blunt tipped safety blade or a guarded blade or both for cutting safety belts.”
The bill does not override the Transportation Security Agency’s regulations for air travel.
In a press release on his website, Enzi said the bill was designed to give travelers consistency and prevent “government overreach”
“A few overzealous states or cities shouldn’t be in the business of punishing folks for what is legal in most parts of the country just because they passed through their jurisdiction,” he said.
KOPA is similar to the Firearms Protection Act passed by Congress in 1986 which protected the transportation of firearms across state lines.
While Enzi introduced the bill to senate, Representative Matt Salmon, a Republican from Arizona introduced a house version of the bill Nov. 13, 2013.
The text of the house bill can be read here.
Both bills have been referred to committees. The senate version was sent to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and the house bill was sent to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.
Last September, AKTI talked with legislators in Washington about the issue of transporting knives by telling them stories about travelers who got in trouble when they carried a knife through a place where it was illegal to do so, according to a press release by the organization.
Its contributing legal council, Dan Lawson, helped write the legislative proposal for KOPA.
“We sincerely thank Senator Enzi and his staff for taking the lead on our proposed legislation and we look forward to continuing to work with them through the legislative process,” said Jan Billeb, executive director of AKTI.