Arizona Legislature passes nation's first Knife Preemption Law

April 28, 2010

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GILBERT – The Arizona Legislature has passed the nation's first Knife Preemption Law, sponsored by Knife Rights and national grassroots knife owners organization based in Arizona. By bipartisan votes of 36-19 in the Arizona House and 19-9 in the Arizona Senate, SB1153, Knife Rights' Knife Law Preemption Bill, has been sent to Governor Jan Brewer for her signature, which is anticipated next week. It will take effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns and not only prevents political subdivisions from enacting new ordinances and rules, but voids all existing restrictive knife ordinances. In combination with Arizona's recently enacted constitutional concealed carry law, knife owners in Arizona will enjoy the most accommodating knife laws in the country.

View the final preemption law with Governor Brewer's requested amendments incorporated (which strengthened and improved the final bill) at:
Knife Rights Chairman, Doug Ritter, said, “the passage of Arizona's Knife Preemption Law is precedent setting for knife owner rights. Arizona is the first state to establish specific preemption for knife laws and this represents the successful kick-off of Knife Rights' National Knife Law Preemption Campaign, a key component of Knife Rights’ national legislative agenda to protect and enhance knife owners’ rights.”

Knife Rights anticipates that the Arizona preemption law will serve as a model for preemption efforts in other states whose citizens are subject to a similar patchwork of restrictive local knife laws with attendant civil rights issues.  Ritter noted, “We have already been approached by a number of legislators and citizens who want to initiate knife law preemption for their states. Knife Rights will aggressively pursue these opportunities.”
Knife Rights' national strategy is to work to enact knife preemption laws throughout the United States. This would afford the same protection to knife owners that firearms owners in forty six states already enjoy. Arizona is just the start.

Preemption prevents the creation of, or eliminates, a patchwork of ordinances and rules which serve to confuse or entrap those traveling within or through the state. A person traveling in a state without preemption laws could be charged with a violation of law when they have no intention of violating the law. Further, local ordinances often violate the right to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment and, in many cases, by the state’s own constitution.

Knife Rights sincerely appreciates the strong legislative leadership provided by the bill's primary sponsor, Arizona Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray, as well as the support of co-sponsors: Senators Ron Gould, Russell Pearce, Frank Antenori, Jack Harper, Al Melvin, Jonathan Paton and Thayer Verschoor and Representatives David Gowan, Carl Seel, David Stevens, Cecil Ash, Ray Barnes, Andy Biggs, Judy Burges, Steve Court, Debbie Lesko, Steve Montenegro, Rick Murphy and Warde Nichols. Thanks also to all the legislators, from both sides of the aisle, who voted for the preemption bill. At a time when partisan politics seems the norm, the bipartisan support was very welcome and testament to the common-sense appeal of knife law preemption.

Knife Rights would like to express our appreciation for the support provided by Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, National Rifle Association (NRA), Arizona’s NRA affiliate, the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association, Arizona Citizens Defense League, Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife, Copper State Cutlery Association and Arizona Knife Collectors Association.

Knife Rights ( is America’s Grassroots Knife Owners Organization™, working towards a Sharper Future™ for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice to influence public policy to protect and enhance their rights.