Customs Says “NO EXTENSION!” – They Want Your Pocket Knives NOW!

Breaking News: We have received word that U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has DENIED the numerous requests for extension that it had received from Knife Rights, AKTI, manufacturers and citizens like you, and is planning to stick with the June 21 deadline for comments.

CBP’s denial of an extension seems to be a clear indication that they do not intend to act in a fair and reasonable manner on this issue and have already made their decision to go ahead. That may be a somewhat cynical viewpoint, but given the history of CBP, it seems like a good bet. That means we have to set the stage for the next act, which will likely be conducted both in court and in Congress. The battle is far from over; your comments will play a key role in both efforts. If you haven’t yet submitted comments, you need to do it NOW!  Your comments on the record will make a difference and the more the better.

In light of the denial, Knife Rights has re-written our Model Comments letter for concerned knife owners to send to CBP.  If you have not already sent your letter to CPB, please do so TODAY!  If you want to send another letter, it couldn’t hurt. The comments cannot be emailed, they must be mailed or sent by FedEx/UPS, etc. and they must be received in Washington, DC, no later than June 20, 2009.  (The deadline is Sunday, June 21, but there’s no mail delivery on Sunday).

To all of the hundreds of you who have already sent letters, thank you very much.  It will make a difference in the end.

A number of emails have asked where it explicitly says in the CBP’s document that they are going after almost all pocket knives. If you are looking for explicit language to that effect, you won’t find it. That would be too easy, and CBP had no interest in a direct confrontation of that magnitude. They were, after all, trying to slip this one through in the first place as just a minor ruling change. One has to take the logical next step based on the rationales provided by Customs in expanding the interpretation of a switchblade to assisted openers to see where that is headed. It is not even a small leap from assisted openers to one-hand openers, if they succeed. From there to slipjoint folders that can be opened using various tricks one-handed is only another very small step.

If their new ruling is accepted and put in place, the next step will be seizing a warehouse full of imported one-hand openers, which they can legally do, declaring them to also meet their now very broadly defined interpretation of what a switchblade is. They came very close to doing that a few years back in a seizure involving Columbia River Knife & Tool. With this ruling in place, they would succeed. Then the definition of what is a switchblade is expanded even further. It is this that has knife owners and the knifemaking industry up in arms, because our lawyers understand how these bureaucrats use these rulings and language games to get well beyond what it appears at first glance they are reaching for.

For those who are just now hearing of this, you can find our original News Slice with an expanded explanation of the issues and links to the original CBP document, etc., at:

We need you to write CBP NOW!  Their 30 day deadline is fast approaching and these letters must go via postal mail (or Fedex/UPS).  Click below for a Model Letter you can send to CBP. You MUST write TODAY!

We also want to continue efforts to bring this absurd proposal and CBP’s efforts to take our pocket knives away to the attention of Congress. Based on feedback already received from some more gullible Members who have swallowed CBP’s story hook, line and sinker, we have revised our Model Letter to Congress to emphasize the far reaching effects that this ruling will have, both on millions of law-abiding citizens and by destroying the vibrant knifemaking industry. This is clearly NOT just about imported assisted openers, no matter how much CBP wants us to believe that.

We must flood Congress with letters so they understand the gravity of the situation. This will be a huge help going forward, so please get your emails out today. Click below for a Model Letter you can send to Members of Congress. Only your efforts will stop this and save our Knife Rights!

We are not about to roll over for this clearly out-of-control government agency. But, we need your help to stop them. Your letters and emails will make a difference!

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