Episode 154-Knife Liberty Update

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Gun Lawyer Episode 154


knives, knife, switchblade, new jersey, ban, gun, great, rights, judge, state, court, federal, pistol, laws, gun rights, carry, law, guns, fsa, second amendment


Speaker 3, Evan Nappen

Evan Nappen 00:00

Hi, I’m Evan Nappen and welcome to Gun Lawyer. The number one rated gun rights podcast in the world, according to Feedspot, who rates such things. Hey, people ask me, you know, what do you like? What are the things you like, particularly like, to collect? What do you enjoy? They’ll ask me that, and I’ll say, well, I have to strictly limit myself. It has to shoot or cut for me to like it. And given those incredible limitations, let’s talk about the cut part. So, I’ve always been a fan of knives, edged weapons. I write about knives. I’ve written for Blade Magazine and Knives Annual. I did a book on U.S. Knife Laws for Gun Digest. So, knives are a passion. I’m proud to say that I helped work on getting the jumpstart of the Knife Liberty Movement in the United States, working closely with Knife Rights and Doug Ritter. We started it in New Hampshire with the repeal of their knife ban on switchblade, dagger, Durk, and stiletto. Since that repeal back in 2010, you know, I lost track of how many, 20 plus, states have repealed their knife laws, and we’re going full steam ahead.

Evan Nappen 01:48

So, I have an update here because you see knives are, of course, protected under the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is the right to keep and bear arms. It’s not the right to keep and bear guns, its arms. And knives are included under the banner of arms. So many people have knives and love knives, and use dies every day. And it’s really important that we protect all arms that our Second Amendment right guarantees us. Knives are not only no exception, but a major part of the world that you and I love to live in and that is the outdoors. And the incredible utilitarian value that knives have in our EDC knife, or Every Day Carry knife and knives that we use in the kitchen, knives to use for hunting, knives to use for camping, etc. I’m sure you all have drawers full of various knives that you love. Some of you, like me, have so many that you don’t even know how you ended up with so many knives, but who cares? Because you can’t have too many knives.

Evan Nappen 03:06

Now, the thing about knives is there is a prejudice to knives in the same way that there is prejudice to guns. The only difference is that guns have an organized anti-gun propaganda and money machine, funded by Soros and Bloomturd and folks like that with money in this movement. There are not really a lot of people that want to see rights taken away. There are some that are just authoritarian communists basically that want to get rid of our rights, but the majority of people don’t. These groups exert these influences, and it’s been a battle for gun rights. And we’re fighting and succeeding. Page – 2 – of 8

Evan Nappen 04:00

As many of you know, we’ve made tremendous headway, particularly in the courts with the absolute fantastic landmark Bruen decision by our hero, Justice (Clarence) Thomas. He wrote the majority opinion, and Bruen is having tremendous effect across the board as we battle these atrocious intrusions into our Second Amendment rights. And knives being arms, I’m proud to say that Knife Rights, which is, in so many words, the NRA of knives. In other words, they’re a group that focuses on defending knife rights, and they’re the largest, most successful knife rights group in America. Their chairman is good friend of mine, Doug Ritter.

Evan Nappen 04:55

Well, Knife Rights has taken on the Federal Switchblade Act and has challenged the constitutionality of the Federal Switchblade Act, what we call FSA. So, the FSA, which is a federal ban on switchblades, was enacted in the late ’50s. And it was enacted in the same way that anti-gunners today put forward propaganda, working on emotion and not facts, as they try to disarm and disenfranchise every American. Back in the ’50s, when everyone knew that the cause of youth violence was the switchblade. Right? I mean, you just had to watch West Side Story or James Dean, and you knew it was the switchblade that was the culprit, causing the corruption of our youth. So, working on this emotion in the same way as anti-gun law proponents do today, they were able to pass the Federal Switchblade Act. The FSA created a ban federally on switchblades. But the federal ban is written in a very cumbersome, stupid way, that is, on one hand problematic, but on the other hand, helpful.

Evan Nappen 06:36

Because it was done in ’58, they weren’t as sophisticated when they passed their anti-weapons laws. And this law, although there is a federal ban, the federal ban does not ban possession of switchblades in the United States, underlining states in the States. It does not ban possession in the States under federal law. So, if you’re just possessing a switchblade in your state, you can. There’s no federal law you can be charged with for unlawful possession of a switchblade. But what the federal law did do was it banned the interstate commerce, selling and transporting across state lines for furtherance of this, the switchblade knife. And by doing this, it created a problem for their continued sale because distribution and selling became the problem. It was up to individual states whether they wanted to have their own state bans. As you may know, New Jersey does, and we’ll talk about that in a minute.

Evan Nappen 07:57

But the federal ban has some weird loopholes that you may not even realize about how bona fide dealers, who have contracts that can sell to the Government, are actually allowed to receive them via this narrow exemption. But they never defined what a bona fide dealer is. So, dealers who receive these knives in interstate commerce today, as long as they’re selling in a contract at some point, they’re sold to a police officer or military personnel, then they’re able to get these knives. But they’re not required to sell the knives that they receive in interstate commerce to only those folks. It’s just that is what exempts them to receive it. Once they have it in their possession in the state, then they only have to obey state law. Because of this contorted loophole, so to speak, ownership of switchblades has become widespread throughout free America. And we’ve made it freer with the Knife Liberty Movement. Page – 3 – of 8

Evan Nappen 09:11

Now with 36 states that allow for possession and carry of switchblade knives, the overwhelming majority having some ability to possess switchblade knives, it is time for the federal law to go, to be removed from the books, using the Bruen decision and its interpretation of how the Second Amendment gets applied to test the constitutionality of laws. The Federal Switchblade Act plainly cannot survive, and this is really great. Because once we wipe out the Federal knife laws, there will be no base, no foundation, of federal knife laws. We can clean up the states that still may have some knife laws here or there. We can do it both legislatively and via the courts, that’s how the Knife Liberty Movement works. In this way we preserve and reestablish complete knife freedom and liberty in the United States. This is such a critical step by Knife Rights in filing their federal challenge to the FSA to finally wipe it out. If they are successful, which I believe they will be, the impact of a federal court, particularly a Supreme Court decision, on this will then be utilized to wipe out the remaining state bans that exist. Then we can once again have knife freedom throughout America.

Evan Nappen 11:10

So, what’s exciting here is that Knife Rights has not only filed their action in the Texas federal court, but they filed for a summary judgment motion, meaning that the facts of the case are not in dispute. They just need a legal opinion by the judge on the law as to whether the federal law is in violation of our guarantee under the Second Amendment. This is where the case begins. Now, of course, after the Fifth Circuit, regardless of win or lose, you’ll probably see an appeal to the Court of Appeals. Then from there, it could then go to the United States Supreme Court, potentially. In this case where Knife Rights filed their lawsuit, well, that is the same federal court and in front of the same judge, who is Judge O’Connor. Now Judge O’Connor is, in my opinion, another one of the modern heroes of Second Amendment juris prudence. Judge O’Connor is the same judge in Mock versus Garland, who invalidated the pistol brace ban in another lawsuit. He’s that great judge, who made it clear that the pistol brace ban is also unconstitutional and in violation not only of that, but also of the Administrative Procedures Act. You know, the way Biden jammed it through with his co- conspirator, Attorney General Garland.

Evan Nappen 13:05

In addition to that on the pistol brace ruling, there’s serious ramifications from the judge’s opinion because this judge gets it. This judge gets it so much so that he made it clear how not only the pistol brace where the stay has been granted and all, but his ruling is placing plainly in jeopardy the SBR itself. The very National Firearms Act that prohibits a short barrel rifle. Because as he points out, all the short barrel rifle does is allow you to shoot more accurately and to use it in the manner intended, which is what the Constitution is all about protecting. So, this judge gets it. The same theory about this can plainly be applied to other challenges. I’m sure it will and is, including magazines and so-called assault weapons, etc. So, this judge’s great opinion on the pistol brace has even farther reaching potential. And this is the same judge that the FSA challenge is going before. The switchblade challenge is going for this great judge.

Evan Nappen 14:20

Let me tell you some interesting things about the switchblade ban that you may not even know. Did you know that in 1958, when they were having hearings on this switchblade act, it was just a propaganda Page – 4 – of 8

dog and pony show to fool the public. Do you know that in the actual hearing, there was testimony, and this is right in the Senate report, that in the United States two manufacturers of knives, just two manufacturers at that time, had a combined production of over 1 million switchblades a year? Did you realize that in the 1950s, just two knife companies were making over a million switchblades a year? Even today, we see a tremendous amount, but we don’t call them switchblades. They are automatic knives. And why is this important? Because one of the things under Bruen is common use. Well, there’s no argument that switchblades are in common use. Their very own hearings of the day in ’58 made it clear. There were over a million a year being produced by two companies and that did not include what was being imported. So, common use? They can’t even argue anything about that. It’s a fact it was in common use. So, that gets the common use issue under Bruen covered.

Evan Nappen 16:13

Because remember, Bruen said that an arm, which is in common use for lawful purposes, is what’s protected. Well, switchblades or automatic knives are plainly in common use and used for many, many lawful purposes. And look, it’s not just me saying they’re used for lawful purposes. Did you know that the Department of Justice opposed, yeah opposed, The Federal Switchblade Act in 1958? Imagine having a Justice Department that good, as opposed to what we have today, this weaponized anti-rights Justice Department. Instead, the Justice Department of the ’50s, well, here’s what they said about switchblades back then. They did not recommend that the FSA pass. And they said, by prohibiting the transportation of a single item which “is not inherently dangerous” they themselves knew it was not inherently dangerous, “but requires the introduction of a wrongful human element to make it so.” Imagine that. Imagine that. They’re actually blaming the person and not the item. The switchblade is not intrinsically evil. It doesn’t go run around and stab people by itself. Oh, no, no. It’s actually bad people. There is nothing inherently dangerous about a folding knife that opens automatically. And the Justice Department knew it, stated it, and went on record against it.

Evan Nappen 17:57

They further said, “Switchblades in the hands of criminals are, of course, potentially dangerous weapons. However, since they serve useful and even essential purposes, in the hands of persons such as sportsmen, shipping clerks, and others engaged in lawful pursuits, the committee may deem it preferable that they be regulated by the state rather than at the federal level.” This was signed by William P. Rogers, Deputy Attorney General at the time. So, there you go. The Government itself at the time of the Federal Switchblade Act admitted that they are in common use, and they’re not inherently dangerous. This is why a summary judgment motion comes out now, saying, look, there’s no question about this. A switchblade is covered by what Bruen talks about – no question. Now they have to apply the test of history, text and tradition. It wasn’t until 1958 that we saw the first switchblade laws, which are way too new to even have any historical precedent as far as Bruen is concerned. So, this is an excellent legal challenge taking place that will have long range and long term implications not just for knives, but other things as well. And it’s yet another impact of the great Bruen decision.

Evan Nappen 19:33

Now, you know, in New Jersey switchblades are defined differently than under federal law. The Federal Switchblade Act defines a “switchblade knife” as any knife having a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife or by operation of inertia, Page – 5 – of 8

gravity or both. That’s the Federal definition. But the state definition in New Jersey says, “Switchblade Knife means any knife or similar device which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in the handle of a knife.” So, they’re similar, but slightly different. The fact is that the key element in both the Federal and State law is that the blade opens automatically but it’s by a button or other device in the handle of a knife. So, the button becomes the key, or the other device, that makes it open automatically.

Evan Nappen 20:48

Some of you, I’m sure, have seen what are called “assisted openers”, where you start the blade a little bit, and then it opens all the rest of the way automatically. To the uneducated, they might say, hey, that’s a switchblade. No, it’s not. The reason it’s not a switchblade is it doesn’t open with the use of a button or other device in the handle the knife. It’s simply assisted. You’re literally pushing the blade itself to start it. When you start thinking about just how silly the switchblade law is, when the assistant opener opens the blade automatically. It just doesn’t have a button. We’re federally banning folding knives because of a button. I mean, it’s just as stupid and as silly as it gets. So, what makes it prohibited? The entire mystery is in the laws of the emotions and everything in there. And what has it been applied to? Oooooo, switchblades, you know. But that’s not it at all anymore, especially in the modern day. It’s simply a folding knife, and it’s one of the safer folding knives. Because unlike other knives, it actually locks closed. Normally, folding knives don’t.

Evan Nappen 22:10

So, this will hopefully open up the beginning of the end of knife laws via this court challenge, and I would highly recommend that you support Knife Rights. Join as a member to support their efforts as they fight for Knife Liberty across the board. They make such a difference. It is an arm that is protected, and we don’t leave any arm left in our fight for our Second Amendment rights. They all matter. As a matter of fact, the slogan of Knife Rights is, not the official one, but it’s one of their slogans, All Knives Matter. And in fact, all knives do matter. Switchblades or automatic knives are one of those that truly matter. So, please support Knife Rights.

Evan Nappen 23:16

Hey, guess what? The clock is ticking. The clock is ticking, folks, on the recertification that you need to do for keeping your Carry Permit in New Jersey. Even though we got that great extension, it’s December 31. So, make sure you get your requalification if you’re a permit holder. Yes, the requirements have been substantially made simpler, and they focus now on what are the core fundamentals, core competency and that’s it. No more of this you have to be a SWAT police officer in order to qualify just to carry to defend yourself. But you still need to get it. If you’re thinking about applying to get your new carry that’s what you need to take. If you have an old carry permit, you need to requalify and get it done by December 31.

Evan Nappen 24:16

Let me just tell you that a great place where you can get this done is WeShoot. WeShoot is a range in Lakewood, a great indoor range. They have fantastic trainers, and they treat you like family. They really are wonderful people. A buddy of mine went there, and he told me how thrilled he was. How great they treated him. He was like, Evan, you weren’t kidding. I said no, these guys are great. They really are. He Page – 6 – of 8

went and got his certification, and you can, too. It’s a great place to shoot right there in Lakewood. They have not only all the great facilities, but they do a lot of fun stuff. I’m looking forward to October 11th there to shoot the huge ballistic gummy bear that you can get. It’s like a gummy teddy. You can pick what gun you want and blast it. That looks like a lot of fun, and you get to keep the ballistic gummy bear that you shot up as a souvenir. It’s going to be fun. They do all kinds of cool stuff like that. It is a great resource. You really need to go to WeShoot. Check out WeShoot at weshootusa.com. Look at their Facebook page as well. They have great photography. And they are dedicated to their customers. You’ll see what I mean when you go there. It’s just a great place. I just want to remind you that they support Gun Lawyer, and I’m really happy they do. It means that I have the opportunity to tell you about all these interesting things that we all love.

Evan Nappen 26:01

Another great sponsor is the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC). They are the premier gun rights organization in New Jersey. They are the group that is litigating in federal courts against the Carry Killer bill, against the assault firearm ban, against the magazine ban, making progress. My good friend and colleague, Dan Schmutter, handles their federal litigation, and I frequently talk with him. They’re doing great work. All together, we were able to get the changes, through the Association as the leader, we were able to get the changes to the No Serial Number (NSN) gun ban that had banned millions of guns. So much so, that the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) quit selling guns to New Jersey. I mean, come on. You want to get a Garand from the CMP, but sorry, you have that stupid Jersey law that prohibits you. That has all been removed. So, you can get guns from the CMP again. The whole threat with NSN guns is all gone. We’re able to negotiate to get these training requirements reduced to just core competency. So, all those insane other things they were requiring, where there was a 40% failure rate, under the old standards. Folks, 40% of the people that wanted to simply defend themselves were being denied because they couldn’t pass the egregious, extreme qualification course designed for law enforcement doing activities that no average law-abiding citizen would ever have to do. Now because of the change to something more reasonable in requirements, the courses and those signing up for courses have dramatically increased. Individuals were being discouraged from applying under the old qualifications and that’s now changed. And that’s critical. Because every person that becomes not just a gun owner but someone who carries a gun for a defense, they have a vested interest in our Second Amendment rights. They become the strongest defenders because they know how much it personally means to them. And it makes all the difference.

Evan Nappen 28:29

So, look, the Association is there, and they’re doing a tremendous job. They have a great newsletter. The best gun rights newsletter in New Jersey. The things that we fight in New Jersey spread in the anti-gun mechanism, their propaganda. They use Jersey as their experimental grounds. This is the front line on the battle for gun rights, and the Association is right there on the front lines defending it. So, please join anjrpc.org. Make sure you’re a member. Be part of the solution by joining ANJRPC. You’ll be glad you did when you look back and see how much we’ve been able to change things. Think how amazing it is, seriously, right now. Think about it. You can actually get a shall issue carry permit based on objective standards with a qualification course that you can actually pass. That carry was a virtual impossibility before Bruen, and the great work of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. That’s a milestone – an amazing accomplishment. I’m sure many of us never thought we’d ever see that Page – 7 – of 8

day when we’d have carry in Jersey and here, we have shall issue. And this is just the beginning. Because as we get more and more folks doing that, eventually even New Jersey will have Constitutional Carry. You mark my words. It’s how every state has evolved, and we will, too. You want to be there as part of it, gaining our rights back. It’s slow. It’s incremental, but that’s how we lost them as well, folks. So, we’re doing great. We’re doing better and better every day.

Evan Nappen 30:30

Hey, let me do one last thing before I get some great letters from my beloved listeners. And that is shamelessly promote my book. If you don’t have a copy of New Jersey Gun Law, you sure need it. It’s over 500 pages, and it has 120 topics, all in question and answer format. You know, New Jersey’s gun laws are so freakin complex. If you just start cold, you’ll never figure them out. But with my book, you’ll be able to. You’ll get an understanding, and you’ll be able to fully comprehend this insane matrix that New Jersey lays out for gun owners. I wrote it for that reason, and it’s a labor of love. Hundreds and hundreds of man hours and it’s the Bible of New Jersey gun law. So, get a copy of New Jersey Gun Law, and don’t forget to subscribe to the free updates. Just hit that QR code on the cover. They’re 100% free, and you will get alerts about anything new. You get full access to the subscriber archives. This book is a living book that stays current and updated. Usually within 24 hours of any change, I’m letting you know, by email, and you’re able to download it and stay on top of these changes. So, go to EvanNappen.com. It’s my name, and it’s a.com. EvanNappen.com. Click on the big orange book there and order yourself a copy.

Evan Nappen 32:04

Hey, I have some letters. Let’s take a look at what some of the folks are saying. Here’s a good one. This is from Harris. We’ll just call him Harris. Hello Mr. Nappen. I have a court issued permit with my handguns listed on the court order. If I qualify with one gun under the new protocols, would that cover all my handguns on my court order? Thanks in advance. Well, we get this question a lot, and I’m going to tell you right now, it does not cover you. We have arguments about why it should, and I get that. But the reason it doesn’t is, if it’s court ordered, if it’s a court ordered permit, it’s a court order. Your permit has an accompanying court order that says this is what you must do. And that court order stands alone, as a court order. If you violate a court order, you can be held in contempt of the court order. Not only can they prosecute you for contempt of the court order, but you could face and will face your carry permit being revoked for not following the order that accompanied it. I know it’s ridiculous. But it’s how our laws work, and our laws often work ridiculously. And if you do not like that situation, the courts have barred you from going back to the court to try to fix it. Yes, they deny gun owners access to the courts, you can’t even believe it’s America, but they do. They do not allow you to go back to try to get that changed. Too bad, tough noogies. Where do you think you live, in America? No, you’re in New Jersey, don’t forget that. You cannot go back to the court even though it’s a court order. That’s contrary to the law. That’s contrary to the protocols. It’s contrary to what the State Police say. Sorry, you’re stuck.

Evan Nappen 33:59

So, what can you do? The only thing you can do is you can give up that permit and go get yourself a chief-issued permit. With a chief-issued permit, one gun qualifies you, and you put any gun you wish to carry, as we’ve discussed on the show before, on the form and you’re covered. It doesn’t matter which gun you qualified with. As long as you put the other guns on the form that you might intend to carry, you Page – 8 – of 8

can carry them. But you can’t do that with a court issued permit. Like I said, one of the best things that ever happened with that Carry Killer law, if there’s any little nugget of gold in that whole crappy bill, it’s that they got judges out of the issuance of permits, because that’s what screwed us from day one, folks. That’s how “justifiable need” became the monster that it was to stop law-abiding citizens. It was Judge created. So, these judges don’t defend our rights. They don’t stand up for the Second Amendment. They do what they can to limit it and to disenfranchise us. Don’t be fooled. So, if you don’t like that, I’m sorry, but the only answer is to wait until your permit expires. When you get your new one, it’ll be through the chief, or give up the current one and get one that’s issued by the chief. Then you cannot be bound by that ridiculous situation there.

Evan Nappen 35:23

Here’s a letter from Greg. Greg asks regarding pistol parts transportation. I know there are many restrictions on transporting a handgun. My question is, if I need to have work done on the slide only, can I transport just the slide without an issue? I’m asking because in order to get to the local shop, before they close, I need to take the slide to work with me and then go to the shop for the work to be done. The shop’s hours are such that I can’t get home from work and back to the shop before they close. Thank you for all you do, Greg. Greg, yes, you can. The pistol slide is not a firearm. The frame is. The slide is just a gun part, and it’s a lawful gun part to your gun that you want to get gunsmithing done on. Just possession of a slide, believe it or not, they don’t prohibit just possession of a slide in New Jersey. Now, if you manufactured the slide yourself out of metal, then they might claim you’re making those guns. But that’s not the case here. You’re talking about your slide on your manufactured, produced, commercial gun, and you just need to get some gunsmithing done. Just having a slide without the frame, without the firearm itself, is no problem. No problem whatsoever. You can have that with you and bring it from work to the gunsmith. Now, if for some reason your work has its own special bans on things, well, that’d be something between your employer and you. But there is not a law in New Jersey that would prohibit you just having that slide on your person. There’s no offense in New Jersey, believe it or not. No offense in New Jersey called unlawful possession of a pistol slide. Nope. Don’t have that one yet. Now, hey, maybe, you know, maybe this will inspire them to start creating even more new and absurd laws that have to be taken out with the power of the Bruen there, but at the moment, it’s not an issue. This is Evan Nappen reminding you that gun laws don’t protect honest citizens from criminals. They protect criminals from honest citizens.

Speaker 3 37:45

Gun Lawyer is a CounterThink Media production. The music used in this broadcast was managed by Cosmo Music, New York, New York. Reach us by emailing Evan@gun.lawyer. The information and opinions in this broadcast do not constitute legal advice. Consult a licensed attorney in your state.

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About The Host

Evan Nappen, Esq.

Known as “America’s Gun Lawyer,” Evan Nappen is above all a tireless defender of justice. Author of eight bestselling books and countless articles on firearms, knives, and weapons history and the law, a certified Firearms Instructor, and avid weapons collector and historian with a vast collection that spans almost five decades — it’s no wonder he’s become the trusted, go-to expert for local, industry and national media outlets.

Regularly called on by radio, television and online news media for his commentary and expertise on breaking news Evan has appeared countless shows including Fox News – Judge Jeanine, CNN – Lou Dobbs, Court TV, Real Talk on WOR, It’s Your Call with Lyn Doyle, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk, and Cam & Company/NRA News.

As a creative arts consultant, he also lends his weapons law and historical expertise to an elite, discerning cadre of movie and television producers and directors, and novelists.

He also provides expert testimony and consultations for defense attorneys across America.

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