The Knife Rights Movement: Repealing Switchblade Bans One State at a Time

The Tennessee General Assembly’s decision this week to repeal the state’s ban on switchblades revealed the existence of the budding knife-rights movement. Thanks in large part to Knife Rights, an eight-year-old, little-known knife advocacy group modeled after the National Rifle Association, a bill that eliminates limits on knife length and overrules any town or city knife regulations, is now on its way to Tennessee governor Bill Haslam’s desk. “We are really rewriting knife law in America,” Knife Rights chairman Doug Ritter said. Switchblades, or so-called “automatic” knives were banned by federal law in 1958 and became subsequently regulated by many state laws. Knife Rights is working to change that. “Counting Tennessee, we’ve passed 13 bills in 11 states in four years,” Ritter said.