Eye On Boise

Minnick makes point with pocketknife

Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick is being lauded by the National Rifle Association for his work to protect spring-assisted pocketknives from being reclassified as switchblades, an issue that prompted Minnick to display his own such pocketknife at a congressional committee hearing last summer. The change has now been written into the appropriation bill for the Department of Homeland Security. “This amendment was necessary to prevent commonly-used pocketknives from being branded as illegal switchblades,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “The National Rifle Association would like to thank Congressman Minnick, whose leadership helped fix a provision that would have criminalized millions of law-abiding Americans – including many hunters and sportsmen in Idaho.”

Minnick said, “Like most Idahoans, I carry a pocketknife. That shouldn’t make me a criminal. Passage of this bill means that the kinds of knives we use while rafting Idaho rivers or fishing its streams or hunting its mountains – or even just to open a stubborn package at the office – will remain legal and free of regulation.” You can read our full story here from today's Spokesman-Review on the legislative change and the role of Post Falls-based Buck Knives in it, and click below for Minnick's full press release. The new language was first championed by Minnick and Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio; Minnick also thanked Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, for their work on the issue.

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Minnick hails win on spring-loaded knives
Idaho Congressman thanked by NRA for leadership on the issue
Washington, D.C. – The issue is resolved, but it means an Idaho Congressman no longer has an excuse to slip out his pocketknife at a committee meeting.
Last week, the House of Representatives approved the conference report setting appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security. This final bill included language preventing spring-assisted knives from being classified by the Department as switchblades. The language was first championed by Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio.)
“This amendment was necessary to prevent commonly-used pocketknives from being branded as illegal switchblades,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “The National Rifle Association would like to thank Congressman Minnick, whose leadership helped fix a provision that would have criminalized millions of law-abiding Americans – including many hunters and sportsmen in Idaho.”
Minnick received national attention earlier this year when, during testimony in support of the measure, he illustrated his point using a spring-assisted knife he carries in his pocket.
“Like most Idahoans, I carry a pocketknife,” Minnick said. “That shouldn’t make me a criminal. Passage of this bill means that the kinds of knives we use while rafting Idaho rivers or fishing its streams or hunting its mountains – or even just to open a stubborn package at the office – will remain legal and free of regulation.”
Minnick’s staff worked closely with other Congressional offices in championing the measure, and solicited feedback from key constituencies at home in Idaho.
“I want to thank Congressman Latta, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), as well as Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo from Idaho for being great partners in championing this cause.” Minnick said. “This is an important win not only for people who carry these knives, but also for the workers in my District who manufacture them.”
Minnick’s district includes Buck Knives, one of the nation’s best-known manufacturers of spring-assisted knives and other knife products for hunters, outdoorsmen, collectors and enthusiasts.
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