"Imagine a State in America where ANY knife (regardless of blade length, design or operation) may be freely bought and sold (even no sales tax), owned, possessed, carried open or concealed, transported, displayed, collected, made, manufactured, produced, given, loaned, acquired, transferred, bequeathed, or inherited under State law with the only exception being possession in a courthouse and possession by felons.
Imagine further that such a State accomplished this feat by repealing its knife laws which had been on the books for over 50 years that had banned switchblades, daggers, dirks and stilettos. Now consider that not one of its 425 politicians in the State’s Democrat controlled government (400 House members with Democrat Majority, 24 Senators with Democrat Majority and 1 Democrat Governor) opposed the repeal. Then imagine that same government unanimously voting again to prohibit all local towns and municipalities from passing or enforcing any knife laws. Believe it or not, on May 18, 2010, a unanimously passed HB1665 was signed into law which repealed New Hampshire’s knife laws and on June 9, 2011, a unanimously passed HB 544 was signed into law which preempts New Hampshire cities, towns or political subdivisions from passing or enforcing any knife laws. This is the story of how a few dedicated activists helped make it happen and how you can do the same in your state."
June 9, 2011: New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has signed into law the Knife Law Preemption Bill, HB 544. The law takes effect in 60 days. NH Rep. Jenn Coffey sponsored this bill and worked tirelessly with her colleagues, local advocates and our lobbyist to ensure the bill passed unanimously in both houses of the New Hampshire legislature. Rep. Coffey's efforts enacted a strong preemption law which will protect knife owners from senseless local ordinances well into the future.
This is the second UNANIMOUS KNIFE RIGHTS VICTORY in NH. 425 legislators and NOT a single vote against it in the House or Senate. It takes effect in 60 days. Now NO city, town or political subdivision can ban the ownership, possession, sale or carry of knives.
New Hampshire is NOW the freest knife place on earth!
WE WON! ITS LAW!
Today, May 18, 2010 Governor Lynch signed into law HB1665 which took effect immediately!
New Hampshire now has absolutely no knife laws which stop law abiding citizens from buying, selling, owning, carrying, possessing, transporting, collecting, or lawfully using any type of knife! New Hampshire truly lives up to its motto of "Live Free Or Die." We all owe a debt of thanks to the New Hampshire "Citizen Legislature" who unanimously passed the repeal and to Governor Lynch for signing the HB1665 into law!
NEW HAMPSHIRE NOW PAVES THE WAY FOR OTHER STATES TO RESTORE KNIFE RIGHTS TO THEIR HONEST CITIZENS.
IT IS A GREAT DAY FOR LIBERTY!
Today serves as a crowning point to all who have worked tirelessly for New Hampshire Knife Rights!
The New Hampshire Senate joined the New Hampshire House of Representatives today and voted UNANIMOUSLY to support HB1665, the New Hampshire Knife Rights Bill!
Pictured left with Prime Sponsor Representative Jenn Coffey, immediately following the bills passage in the Senate today, is Senator Bob Letourneau who co-sponsored the bill and championed it though the legislative process in the New Hampshire Senate. Senator Letourneau eloquently spoke on the Senate floor today supporting the rights of knife owners and encouraging the Senate to agree with the committee in recommending the bill become law in New Hampshire.
The bill will now go onto the Governor's office for final approval. We expect to know if the Governor will join the unanimous consent of the House and the Senate within the next couple of weeks. Should Governor Lynch agree, HB1665, is expected to become law by the end of April.
It has been a long journey that began in September of 2009, and many are owed a debt of thanks for their hard work and dedication to the cause. Most especially the Co-Sponsors of the Bill: Senator Bob Letourneau, Representatives Shawn Jasper, Dan Eaton, Joel Winters, and David Welch.
None of this would have been possible without the support of: Knife Rights, Inc., Evan Nappen, SAS, Bob Clegg, Abe Foote of Abe's Armaments, Blade Magazine, American Knife and Tool Institute, Benchmade Knives, Ralph Demicco of Riley's Sport Shop, Ed Fowler, Suzanna Hupp, Sandra Froman, Citizens Committee for the Right To Keep and Bear Arms, Jews for the Preservation Of Firearms Ownership, Pro-Gun NH, New Hampshire Wildlife Federation, Sword Forum, Firearms Coalition, Bikerbits, Cam and Company, Bloomfield Press, Americans for Tax Reform, NH Liberty Alliance, NH Arms Collectors Association, NH Firearms Dealers Association, The New Gun Week, Guns Magazine, American Handgunner Magazine, Blade Blog, Women & Guns Magazine, Knife World, Cutlery News, Hannah Dustin League, US Military Knives.com, Al Kulas, Smith & Wesson, Ethan Becker of Becker Knife and Tool Company, Classic Cutlery, Capital Copy, House Republican Alliance, NH Chiefs of Police Association, Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Brian "Bulldog" Tilton, Alisha Lekas, NH 912 and Survival Topics.com.
The bill has also received supported by countless numbers of Citizens of New Hampshire and our Country who value the Second Amendment and the rights of knife owners.
We now wait for the final executive decision from Governor Lynch.
Today at the New Hampshire House the Senate Judiciary Committee met to hear public testimony on HB1665. The bill would lift the archaic ban on certain knives such as switchblades, dirks, daggers and stilettos, that has been in place since the 1950's.
The bill was opened by my testimony explaining the varied uses of knives today including my use as an EMT of a knife technically illegal for me to carry but legitimate for me to use while working to care for patients. Ralph Demicco, co-owner of Riley's Sports Shop and member of the Board of Directors for Gun Owners of NH, did a great job of showing the Senate members the differences between the various knives and their mechanics, thus showing the committee the out dated nature of the current law.
Bob Clegg spoke on behalf of Knife Rights, and noted the various uses of these tools and the need to have the law reflect fairness to all New Hampshire citizens. Abe Foote, owner of Abe's Awesome Armaments, spoke of his experience of selling one of the banned knives to a exempted person and paying thousands of dollars and suffering under the current law. Also supporting the bill was Penny Dean, an attorney, explained to the committee that criminal acts with knives are already covered under current law, but that the ban on knives that now exists is not equally applied to all citizens.
Celebrations like the NH Highland Games, where hundreds of these banned items can be found on any given day, happen every year in NH, there is no prosecution of participants, no one is ever penalized. This example was not lost and it was obvious the committee was ready to make a motion lifting this ban and providing that all citizens in NH be granted the ability to use knives as a work tool and also see that all people are treated as equals.
Alicia Lekas, a Scottish dance expert, was present in full Scottish traditional dress and looked beautiful. She noted her traditions and that part of her traditional dress is currently banned under existing law. The committee heard no negative testimony and noted the NH Chief's of Police Association supported the bill.
The Senate committee held a executive session later in the day with Senator Letourneau making the motion of ought to pass and Senator Laskey seconding the motion.
The committee vote was unanimous 5-0!
The bill will now move on to the full Senate where it is expected to be voted upon next week. Keep in mind the bill received unanimous support of the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, The NH House of Representatives, The Senate Judiciary Committee, and the multitude of supporters from across the State and our Nation!
I must take a moment to publicly thank Attorney Evan Nappen, without whom none of this would have been possible.
The New Hampshire House passed HB1665, the knife rights bill, unanimously on the consent calendar today! On to the Senate!
We will need your help to ensure that the Senate views this legislation in a positive light. It is important for them to see how many hundreds of jobs and thousands of people use these tools everyday on the job and in their homes. They need to hear from collectors, enthusiast, and designers to know how these effective tools should not be feared but admired for their practical use, beauty, and collect-ability.
For example, if you enjoy the New Hampshire Highland Games, you should know the Scottish Dirk is currently illegal in New Hampshire! Help me correct this wrong.
There are 24 Senators be sure they know the truth about knives!
I will be sure to inform you when we have a public hearing date in the Senate and continue to keep you posted on the bills journey though the New Hampshire Legislator.
Respectfully, Rep. Jenn Coffey
Today was a great day for Knife Rights in New Hampshire and other step toward making a statement to the rest of our country. The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted unanimously with a 19:0 vote to recommend HB1665 the New Hampshire Knife Rights Bill as OTPA (Ought to Pass as Amended) The Amendment strikes out the criminal penalties of the bill, and changes the enactment date to upon passage.
The committee noted the penalties are not necessary as the various crimes are covered under existing laws. They also noted that this bill would "clean up" New Hampshire law by removing an archaic statue. It was obvious by the debate that the committee was well educated and informed on the subject and could see the need to change the existing law. They also voted to place the bill on the House consent calendar which in all likely hood means the bill will pass the full house with no floor debate.
We will now start to prepare to move on to the next step, the New Hampshire Senate. Support is needed to show the Senators the wisdom expressed by the House committee and the basic day to day use of these tools. It is time to bring Knife Laws into the 21st Century and long over due to respect the rights of law abiding citizens to work, hunt, fish, collect, and share in the craftsmanship of the many fine tools available to us.
Please pass this information along and do all that you can to help see this bill become the law of the land in New Hampshire.
I am happy to report that the public hearing today in front of the Criminal Justice Committee went very well. The hearing was scheduled for a half hour and lasted over an hour. There where people that testified against the bill, but far more that testified in favor, with many more signing in with support. There was key testimony offered by The Second Amendment Sisters, The New Hampshire Wildlife Federation, Pro-Gun New Hampshire and many others, All of the quotes of support, written testimony from Sword Forum and Suzanna Gratia Hupp as well as the articles from Blade Magazine, Women and Guns and the New Gun Week to name but a few, where entered into the record today as well. Basically anyone who submitted a quote of support, wrote an article, or website posting was entered into the record so the committee could see the full scope of support the bill has. We far out weighed the opposition in numbers. Forgive me for not going into more detail and listing all of the names, but it has been a very long day and is now a late hour. However, I felt it important to report to all of you what occurred today. In addition, we had two people who testified as to their criminal charges under the currently law and the effect it has had on their lives, costing them time, money, inventory, as well as the embarrassment of a criminal record due to the current law in New Hampshire.
I have to say that Doug Ritter was very impressive from Knife Rights and made a very good impression on the committee. His testimony was clear and to the point. I am thankful for not only his support and testimony but willingness to travel to New Hampshire to appear in front of the committee in person. To travel to New Hampshire in these trying fiscal times is admirable and not something easy to do. I know there are others who had hoped to do the same but understandably could not do so at this time. It seems by all accounts that we can expect a favorable recommendation from the committee. If that happens for us we will know in a couple of weeks when they make their final recommendation. At that time approximately 1 week later the bill will come to the full House for a vote. I am very thankful for all the support. It is crucial to keep it up especially when we get to the Senate. I believe that we have turned one of the major antagonist to our side in which case our testimony will be stronger.
My concern is that the Chiefs of Police did sign in supporting the bill today but may change their minds when it goes to the Senate as I am being told the House committee is amending the bill to remove the criminal penalties. My goal continues to be to lift the ban which is in the first section that is not being amended. I was thankful to find that Knife Rights had hired not just a lobbyist but one who carries an enormous amount of weight in both the House and the Senate, as well as the Governor's office. I hope they will be able to continue that effort in this crucial time. We are on a good footing at present but perseverance and support is key to lifting this ban. It is important to note that if the bill passes it will make New Hampshire not only legal for switchblades, dirks, daggers and stilettos but they will be legal to carry, possess, sell and trade without restriction or need for a license to carry! Making New Hampshire truly a knife rights state! Again thank you and I hope I can count on you for continued support. Please feel free to contact me at anytime with questions or concerns. Regards, Representative Jenn Coffey firstname.lastname@example.org