A sample letter addressed to lawmakers..

It outlines why knife restrictions hurt peaceful, law-abiding people. So you don't have to re-type it, the letter has been re-posted for you to copy/paste.

Model Letter to State Lawmakers
Courtesy of the American Knife & Tool Institute - (www.akti.org)

Dear Lawmaker:

We need a simpler, more rational, more equitable knife law in our state. Simple possession of any type of knife should not be punished. Knives do no harm unless used by someone who intends to do harm.

Furthermore, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service released its 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. Nationally, hunters and anglers spend more than $76 billion annually. Our state benefits from that revenue. Since most hunters and anglers carry knives, we should not subject them to prosecution for knife possession or jeopardize that vital revenue. Therefore, our knife law should read:

A knife is illegal only if it is carried with the intent to assault or harm another person.

Unfortunately, certain classes of knives that may be banned now cannot be accurately defined. If there is a blade-length restriction, there is no protocol for measuring the blade. Hence, enforcement becomes arbitrary, subject to broad interpretation and discretion, and therefore inherently unfair.

Knives are manís oldest tool. And those tools, like others in every arena of life from automobiles to cameras to computers, have become more complex in mechanisms and materials, more sophisticated in design, more aesthetically rich, and focused on ever-narrower market niches. Whether a person writes a letter with a No. 2 pencil or the lightest, thinnest-profile laptop computer, we do not praise the first and declare the second a de facto criminal act because it embraces the newest technology to communicate.

If we assume that people with one arm are inherently law-abiding and responsible and allow them to carry and use certain classes of knives or shoot a crossbow on a hunting trip, we should assume the same about those with two arms. We should not declare people with two arms are inherently irresponsible and criminally inclined so they are banned from using the same tools for the same occupations and forms of recreation.

Carrying a particular knife to perform at a higher level at your job, to make your hobby safer, to open the mail, or just to prune the roses should be a right each individual has unless his or her actions prove otherwise. Whether a knife-owning citizen has one arm or two, is male or female, subscribes to a certain religion or none at all, or lives in a certain ethnic community or neighborhood, we should assume they are law abiding.

I urge you to sponsor a bill that would rewrite our stateís knife laws to reflect these concerns.


(sign or print your name here)

© 2009 - Sarasota Knife Collectors Club

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