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Legislature Passes Knife Rights Act


HB 33 lifts restrictive state knife ownership and manufacturing laws

Friday, April 12, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska House of Representatives today concurred in Senate changes Representative Mark Neuman’s Knife Rights Act, sending the bill to the Governor.

“When this legislation passed the House it clarified that certain hunting, fishing, and utility knives don’t qualify as a switchblade or gravity knife, hence an individual can own one,” Neuman, R-Susitna Valley, said. “The bill also reserved the right to regulate knives to the State; ensuring individuals wouldn’t run afoul in local jurisdictions. 

“As the bill passed through the Senate I was pleased to work with Sen Fred Dyson of Eagle River on crafting legislation that allows an adult to own one of these gravity knifes or switchblades,” Neuman said. “This legislation also provides new economic opportunity by making it legal to manufacture these specialty knives in Alaska. Alaskans are now provided the opportunity to possess and utilize these tools whether they are hunting, fishing, or on the job site.”

The Senate kept the original preemptive language and that which defined gravity knives and switchblades and added 3 new sections to:

1) Lifted the prohibition on manufacturing switchblades and gravity knives

2) Allows an adult to possess or transport a switchblade or gravity knife

3) Prohibits a minor under the age of 16 from possessing a switchblade or gravity knife   without Parental consent

The Alaska Supreme Court, in State vs. Strange (1990), has also had to consider how to define gravity knife and switchblade in the absence of a statutory definition, hence the addition of a definition in statute.

HB 33 passed the House March 26 and now heads to the Governor for signature. It takes effect 90 days from signature.

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