Tuesday, July 07, 2009
UPDATED AT BOTTOM
I have been avoiding this issue because I did not think many people would actually care. But, in terms of the popular press (AKA the MSM), it seems to be the customs-related story of the moment.
Knife lovers beware, Customs and Border Protection wants to treat certain pocket knives that open via a spring or other assisted release mechanism as switchblades. That change would effectively ban their importation, although owning or selling them in the U.S. would continue to be legal.
These knives differ from actual switchblades. In a switchblade, there is an external button or slide that releases the blade. Release-assisted knives require the user to press on the blade itself, which is then released.
Customs first proposed the change in the May 22, Bulletin (see page 5). All of this is based on the Switchblade Knife Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1241-45. For you customs geeks out there, the implementing regs are at 19 C.F.R. § 12.95-12.103.
The amount of interest in this has surprised me. That is especially true given that owning or selling the knives in the U.S. will not be affected. But, there seems to be great interest. Here is an editorial from the paper in Anchorage. This article by Bob Barr paints CBP's proposal as an Obama Administration step taken in lieu of its "stymied" gun control agenda. I seriously doubt that this issue reached the Oval Office, but then I don't believe in the NAFTA Superhighway and the North American Union either.
The comment period has already run, so now interested parties are waiting for a response.