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                                                       Calendar No. 201
114th Congress    }                                      {       Report
 1st Session      }                                      {      114-121



                  KNIFE OWNERS' PROTECTION ACT OF 2015


                              R E P O R T

                                 of the



                                S. 1315


                August 28, 2015.--Ordered to be printed
    49-010            WASHINGTON : 2015
                    one hundred fourteenth congress
                             first session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
 ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
 MARCO RUBIO, Florida                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
 KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
 TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
 DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
 JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  ED MARKEY, Massachusetts
 DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey
 RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TOM UDALL, New Mexico
 DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  JOE MANCHIN, West Virginia
 CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY PETERS, Michigan
                    David Schwietert, Staff Director
                   Nick Rossi, Deputy Staff Director
                    Rebecca Seidel, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director
                 Clint Odom, Democratic General Counsel
                                                      Calendar No. 201
114th Congress   }                                        {     Report
 1st Session     }                                        {    114-121


                  KNIFE OWNERS' PROTECTION ACT OF 2015


                August 28, 2015.--Ordered to be printed


Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1315]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1315) to protect the right of 
law-abiding citizens to transport knives interstate, 
notwithstanding a patchwork of local and State prohibitions, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 1315, is to allow for certain interstate 
transportation of knives by law-abiding citizens.

                          Background and Needs

    Currently, Federal, State, and local laws govern the sale, 
possession, manufacture, or carrying of knives. Oftentimes 
these laws vary widely by jurisdiction and can be inconsistent. 
This patchwork of regulations makes it difficult for a law-
abiding knife owner to travel freely between States.
    For example, the American Knife & Tool Institute reports 
that a member who was traveling by air on a hunting trip had an 
unscheduled flight diversion to New York City. While at the 
airport on this unplanned layover, he was arrested for 
possession of an illegal knife in his checked luggage even 
though the knife was secured and legal in his scheduled origin 
and destination.\1\
    \1\American Knife & Tool Institute, ``AKTI's Improved Bipartisan 
U.S. Act to Protect Traveling Knife Owners Introduced,'' press release, 
February 25, 2015, at
    To address this type of circumstance, S. 1315 was 
introduced to allow knife owners to travel between two 
locations where the possession of the knife is legal. The Knife 
Owners' Protection Act of 2015 (KOPA) is modeled after the 
Firearms Owners' Protection Act,\2\ which Congress enacted in 
1986 to address similar traveling difficulties law-abiding 
firearm owners were facing. When a knife owner is traveling by 
motor vehicle, KOPA would require that the knife not be 
directly accessible from the passenger compartment or, if the 
motor vehicle has no separate compartment, that the knife be 
kept in a closed container, glove compartment, or console. 
During air travel, aviation security regulations via the 
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will continue to 
provide guidance for the secure transport of any knife, and the 
bill is not intended to impact current Amtrak rules governing 
the transportation of a knife. In all other modes of travel, 
the knife must be kept in a closed container.
    \2\18 U.S.C. 926A

                         Summary of Provisions

    The Knife Owners' Protection Act of 2015 would allow law-
abiding citizens to legally transport knives interstate under 
certain circumstances. If enacted, KOPA would:

     provide a lawful means for the transport of a 
knife between two jurisdictions where the possession of the 
knife is legal by the individual transporting the knife;

     set reasonable accessibility standards during 
transport with a knife; and

     ensure that law-abiding citizens following KOPA 
standards cannot be arrested or detained for violation of any 
law, rule, or regulation of a State or political subdivision of 
a State related to the possession, transport, or carrying of a 
knife unless there is probable cause they are in violation of 

                          Legislative History

    KOPA was introduced by Senator Enzi on May 13, 2015. 
Senators Wyden, Thune, Manchin, Lee, and Heinrich are 
cosponsors. On May 20, 2015, the Committee met in open 
Executive Session and, by a voice vote, ordered S. 1315 to be 
reported favorably.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 

S. 1315--Knife Owners' Protection Act of 2015

    S. 1315 would allow people to possess knives in states 
where they are illegal if the person is travelling to and from 
states where the knife is legal, if the knife is secured, or if 
the knife is a safety blade designed for cutting seatbelts. 
Based on information provided by the Department of Justice and 
the Federal Trade Commission, CBO estimates that implementing 
S. 1315 would have no effect on the federal budget. Because 
enacting S. 1315 would not affect direct spending or revenues, 
pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    S. 1315 would impose an intergovernmental mandate as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) by 
preempting some state and local laws related to possessing and 
transporting knives. Laws regulating knives vary from state to 
state. The costs for state and local governments to comply with 
that mandate would include the cost to change protocols and 
train law enforcement officers. CBO estimates the total costs 
for state and local governments would be small and would not 
exceed the threshold established in UMRA ($77 million in 2015, 
adjusted annually for inflation).
    S. 1315 contains no private-sector mandates as defined in 
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Mark Grabowicz 
and Ben Christopher (for federal costs) and Melissa Merrell 
(for the intergovernmental mandate). The estimate was approved 
by Theresa Gullo, Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    Because S. 1315 does not create any new programs, the 
legislation will have no additional regulatory impact, and will 
result in no additional reporting requirements. The legislation 
will have no further effect on the number or types of 
individuals and businesses regulated, the economic impact of 
such regulation, the personal privacy of affected individuals, 
or the paperwork required from such individuals and businesses.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide the short title of the bill, the 
Knife Owners' Protection Act of 2015.

Section 2. Interstate transport of knives.

    This section would allow an individual who is lawfully 
allowed to possess, transport, ship, or receive a knife at a 
starting location to transport that knife to any other location 
where that individual is allowed to possess, transport, ship, 
or receive the knife.
    During the transportation of a knife by motor vehicle, the 
knife would not be allowed to be accessible from inside the 
passenger compartment. If that is not possible, the knife must 
be contained in a closed container, glove compartment, or 
console. During the transportation of a knife in all other 
modes of transport, the knife would be required to be in a 
closed container.
    An exception would be provided for the transportation of a 
knife to enable the escape in an emergency (for instance, to 
cut a seat belt). But the exception would not apply for an 
individual who is subject to airport screening procedures of 
the TSA.
    The Act would prohibit the arrest or detention of an 
individual who is transporting a knife in compliance with this 
Act unless there is probable cause to believe that the 
individual was not in compliance with the Act. It also would 
allow an individual to assert this Act as a claim or defense in 
any civil or criminal proceeding. Violations of this Act would 
have to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
    Nothing in this Act would limit the right of an individual 
to possess, carry, or transport a knife under applicable State 

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.