On April 27, 2016, Governor Fallin signed the latest in a series of knife reform bills. The bill, HB1159, will go into effect on 1 November, 2016. The infringement on the carry of knifes dates back to early statehood at the beginning of the "progressive" era. Text of the 1921 Oklahoma Criminal Code, pages 523 to 525, shows that specifically named knives were forbidden for most people to carry. It seems that the laws were enacted enbloc from other states, as some of the statutes seem contradictory. The 1921 text refers to laws from 1910. Oklahoma became a state in 1907.
Knife Rights started to lobby to reform these laws three years ago. SB1159 is the culmination of their efforts. From kniferights.org:
April 27, 2016: Knife Rights' Oklahoma Knife Law Reform bill, SB 1159, has been signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin. SB 1159 removes dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife and sword cane from the items prohibited from carry in Oklahoma, and finishes the job Knife Rights began last year with the repeal of the ban on carrying switchblade (automatic) knives and with the passage of Knife Law Preemption in Oklahoma.
Since Knife Law Preemption is already the law in Oklahoma, the revised law will be effective statewide when it takes effect on November 1, 2016.
SB 1159 removes the complete prohibition on the carry of the types of knives named in the law. Line through indicates removal. From SB 1159(pdf):
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry upon or about
his or her person, or in a purse or other container belonging to the
person, any pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle whether loaded or
unloaded or any
dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife, sword cane,
blackjack, loaded cane, billy, hand chain, metal knuckles, or any
other offensive weapon, whether such weapon be concealed or
unconcealed, except this section shall not prohibit:
Knife Rights is one of the most effective Second Amendment organizations in the Country. Yes, knives are clearly arms protected by the Second Amendment. Knife Rights gets extraordinary results for the tiny budget that they run on. Since they started lobbying for knife rights six years ago, they have passed 21 reform bills in 15 states, and successfully lobbied for reform of the Federal Switchblade act in 2010.
I have talked to Doug Ritter, Chairman of Knife Rights on a number of occasions, at conferences that we both attended. He is passionate about knife rights fighting on "the second front for the Second Amendment". He has accomplished amazing things on the tiny amounts that Knife Rights subsists on.
The reform of these progressive era bans on the carry of knives has a far reaching cultural effect. It sends the message that the government should not be regulating the carry of common tools that are easily made by anyone with a hammer or file and a bit of metal. Tools that have existed as long as humans.
Many people are amazed that such laws were ever passed. They carried and used these tools/weapons for years, without ever knowing that they were breaking the law. It shows how these laws were applied with extreme selectivity to those who were less favored by society. The move away from blaming inanimate objects for human actions is a very healthy one.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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