Knife Rights: Minnesota Constitutional Amendment Protecting Knives Introduced

Minnesota State Senator Paul Utke and Representatives Cal Bahr, Tim Miller, John Poston, Erik Mortensen, Eric Lucero and Donald Raleigh have introduced, respectively, SF 1026 and HF 824, Constitutional Amendment bills “providing for the right of the people to acquire, keep, possess, transport,carry, transfer, and use arms including firearms, knives, or any other weapons and ammunition, components, and accessories for these arms.” Knife Rights appreciates our friends in Minnesota including knives in this proposed amendment.

Minnesota is one of only six states without specific constitutional protection for the right to bear arms (the others are California, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey and New York).

This is the first such proposed amendment, or strengthening of existing protections, that specifically calls out “knives” as being protected. While commonsense interpretation of constitutional protections for “arms” would seem to generally protect knives (see Knives and the Second Amendment), that hasn’t historically been the result in every relevant state legal case that has been adjudicated. As recent examples, cases in Connecticut and Wisconsin on appeal affirmed that knives were protected; a New Mexico lower court decision that was never appealed said switchblades were not protected (raised as a defense in the case), and suggested other knives wouldn’t be protected either.

The proposed amendment includes much stronger protection of the right to bear arms, including knives, than is found in most such constitutional protections. These added protections are designed to counter infringements on the right to bear arms allowed by various courts over the years.

Knife Rights will let you know when it is time to contact your legislators to support these bills. If passed by a simple majority in both houses, voters would then vote on the amendment during the 2022 General Election. It must receive a “a majority of all the electors voting at the election” in order to be ratified.

Knife Rights is America’s grassroots knife owners’ organization; leading the fight to Rewrite Knife Law in America™ and forging a Sharper Future for all Americans™. Knife Rights efforts have resulted in 33 bills enacted repealing knife bans in 23 states and over 100 cities and towns since 2010.

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What's the strategy here?  Knowing Minnesota, there are much better approaches to take if you want to expand legal knife carry in this historically blue state.  This won't make it past the House, and every one of those Republican legislators knows this -- I'd even guess they're counting on it.

And why include the language regarding the standard of review?  Is it to get a court to rule on the applicable standard of review?

Definitely keep us updated.  And thank you for working to expand our abilities to legally carry across the country!

The strategy is that we support efforts to reform knife laws,no matter their probability for success in the current session. Many of our wins came with bills nobody gave any chance of success. Since we tend to garner bipartisan support, it messes with some folks' preconceived notions about what's possible and what isn't. The ideal strategy is legislators work with us before they introduce bills.  That is not always the case.  We take what we can get and turn lemons into lemonade  Sometimes we can fix poorly conceived bills or use them to put us in position to work with legislators down the road. All these strategies have proven successful at one time or another.

The standard of review language is common in similar bills of late becuase it ensures that the highest standard of review is used to determine if a law or act is constitutional or not. It takes away lower standards of review that are sometimes used to uphold what might otherwise clearly be unconstitutional acts and laws.

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