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Knife Manufacturing and Distribution as “Essential Infrastructure?”

The recent inclusion of “workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges” in the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce  highlighted the challenges facing some knife manufacturers, retailers, importers and distributors in keeping their doors open in these challenging times.

Recent COVID-19 related shutdowns are negatively impacting some knife manufacturers, retailers, importers and distributors, and threaten more.

Knife Rights is working with our associates and network in D.C. to add knife manufacturers, retailers, importers and distributors to the list of essential businesses.

First responders and military are key customers for many knife manufacturers, retailers, importers and distributors. The vast majority of purchases for first responders and military are through normal retail channels, not via a federal or state contract.

On the positive side, unlike  firearms, knives can be readily purchased and there are no state or federal laws requiring waiting periods, background checks or registration. Listing knife manufacturers, retailers, importers and distributors as essential would not adversely affect efforts to stop the COVID 19 virus as it is relatively easy for these companies to institute virus-safe practices. This is an area of the economy that can work safely, taking precautions against COVID-19 infection and transmission; we should make sure they are allowed to continue to do so.

Recognizing knife manufacturers, retailers, importers and distributors as essential businesses would be a logical next step as it fills an urgent and real need by citizens, first responders and the military. Listing provides members of the knife industry with a key designation that can be referenced at the state level, if needed.

As part of this effort, we encourage all manufacturers, retailers, importers and distributors to send an email to the CISA COVID-19 Action Team detailing their concerns, either because they are already under a STOP WORK ORDER or because they fear they will be subject to one in the future.

This email should provide a straight-up description of the specific company and the problem it is having, or is concerned about having, and why it is “essential.” Emails should go to: CISA.CAT@CISA.DHS.GOV with a copy to your Senators and Congressperson.

In an effort to make this as easy as possible, we have set up a form email using Knife Rights’ Legislative Action Center.  It will send the email to CISA and your members of Congress. You will need to fill in the specifics for your company. DO NOT JUST SEND THE INCOMPLETE EMAIL!

Go to: https://kniferights.org/resources/congressweb/#/35

Please contact Knife Rights if you have any questions or would like to assist in this effort: DRitter@KnifeRights.org or 602-476-2702

Second Amendment:

While CISA does not consider constitutional issues in making its decisions, it is the Second Amendment advocacy organizations that are staunchly opposing shut down orders involving firearms. The inclusion of firearm manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors and ranges in this listing is, in part, a reaction to this push.

One of the foundational principles of Knife Rights is right there in our logo, “Essential Rights.” The Second Amendment doesn’t say “firearms,” it says “arms.” Knives are arms under the Second Amendment (see Knives and the Second Amendment). And, sadly, in many of the states with these shut down orders, the only legal weapon most folks can easily buy on short notice is a knife.

Numerous Second Amendment lawsuits have recently been filed against jurisdictions that have shut down firearm manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors and ranges by our friends involved in Second Amendment advocacy, including Firearms Policy Coalition, National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation. The arguments made are just as applicable to knives as they are to firearms. However, because the regulatory environment is so different, it is a much bigger issue for firearms than for knives.

In any case, if Knife Rights can get knife manufacturers, retailers, importers and distributors included as essential, it will be a big help. All part of our ongoing efforts to forge a Sharper Future for all Americans™.