November 15, 2021

Knife Reform Legislation Introduced in Pennsylvania

Contact: Nick Lewis, Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator


Why it Matters: Many states have antiquated knife laws that criminalize the possession of automatic knives. These knives are useful tools for the outdoor industry, particularly hunters and anglers, as well as the first responder community. The introduction of this legislation is a positive step towards expanding the number of available tools for people in the Keystone State.

Decriminalizing antiquated and cumbersome knife laws is an increasingly bipartisan trend across the country. This positive trend has found its way to Pennsylvania, where Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus) Member Rep. Martin Causer has introduced House Bill 1929 (HB 1929), legislation that would decriminalize the manufacture, sale, and possession of automatic knives.

If HB 1929 passes, Pennsylvania would join over twenty-three states that have taken steps to repeal laws on automatic knives and would join forty-four other states that have few or no restrictions. This legislation would enable sportsmen and women to have another tool in their kit while afield, whether it be for general use or emergencies. Similarly, first responders would be able to carry these knives, making it easier for them during emergencies to open a knife with one hand. Additionally, Pennsylvania could become a more attractive state for outdoor-oriented knife manufacturers. Lessening the restrictions on which types of knives can be manufactured would be welcomed by the manufacturers currently in the state.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) recently joined a letter of support with other organizations and several Pennsylvania businesses, encouraging legislators to consider and pass this bill quickly.

CSF applauds Rep. Causer for introducing this legislation and will continue to work with other Caucus members to support this legislation as it moves through the process. CSF will continue to provide updates as they are available.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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