California's SB274 - Anything being done about it?

Jim March

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Oct 7, 1998
Roj Avon is 100% correct in that something DEFINATELY needed to be done here, and ATKI stepped up to the plate. It's also true that the impetus for change didn't come from AKTI, and things would have been worse without their input.

The only thing wrong is that they backed the wrong fix. In my opinion, not due to malice, but due to inexperience and a lack of familiarity with the history of weapons control from the gun world.

That's not a reason to condemn anybody or give up on AKTI.

Jan 19, 1999
JohnnyLightOn, you have a point. If you are, indeed, a well known attorney, I can understand your reluctance to identify yourself where a background investigator may be able to use your comments to compromise your position on a future case that may, or may not be related. Besides, if you were to sign on as Johnny Cochrane, (or whomever) you would be forever fielding requests for free legal advice.

I just have a problem with folks who are so willing to expound on a subject yet are afraid, for whatever reason, to identify themselves. In most cases, my philosophy is, "If you can't sign it, don't say it".

Don, Thanks.

Jim March, apparently, I touched a nerve. You don't handle criticism very well, do you?

I fail to see what Columbine has to do with knife laws in California. The reason no major feredal gun laws were passed after that fiasco was that the federal government didn't try that hard and soon found that they didn't have widespread support for such laws. Most folks recognized that nothing legsilative would have deterred those two anyway.

As for enforcing the laws already on the books, I'm a bit confused here. Are you referring to the hated Brady Law? Or maybe the Assault Weapon law? Aren't these the laws that we all fought so hard against and detest so much? What, now we're demanding that these terrible statutes be strictly enforced? That ought to have a few legislators scratching their heads. First we fight these laws tooth and nail and then we scream because they aren't being enforced vigorously enough. Nothing like a bit of consistancy to keep these guys on their toes. Yes sir.

As for that street punk you refer to: you know the one with all the priors that you don't want to be allowed to carry a 110? Wassup here? According to you he's guilty of assault, burglery, vandalism, etc., etc. and walking free. And you're worried that he might have a Buck 110? What about that Lorcin he's carrying or Jennings or Glock or whatever? I'd be more concerned that this creep was walking free. I'd be trying to fix that, not writing a 2002 version of "GCA'68 for knives".

Personally, I don't care if he has a Buck 110 or an AFCK or a HALO for that matter.

As for stripping him of the ability to legally carry one, not on your life, if it means that there is even a slight possibility of that prohibition spilling over to me or any other law abiding citizen.

I am not even close to being willing to abandon my rights to facilitate a statute that says some punk can't legally carry a tool that he's probably will carry anyway.

Besides, if he hasn't commited a crime with it there's no problem, is there? Oh! You say, but he MIGHT commit a crime with it? Well gee! So might anyone else. Even you! Until it happens, there's no crime. To create a crime (Felon(y) carry of a knife) to prevent the possibility that a crime might happen just makes no sense to me. THAT's practicality as I see it.

As for elitism, I never said that you couldn't spot it. I merely said that you are fostering it with your list of exemptions. Anytime you exempt anyone from being subject to any law you are promoting elitism, whether you want to acknowledge that or not. If a law doesn't apply to everyone then it shouldnt apply to anyone. Period.

Racism??? That's your word, not mine. I don't know how you made that leap but, considering most of the other stuff you've come up with, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

If it was the term "Blond hair & blue eyes" that you're hung up on, that was just an illustration or example of picking a class of eligible (or ineligible) candidates. Maybe I should have said knockkneed and crosseyed.

Remember who I'm talking to? Why? Who are you? The self appointed guardian of our rights? You're going to protect our rights by making it easier to violate the rights of another class of people? Sounds like elitism to me.

Who is the "obvious gangbanger" you refer to in another post? What makes him/her so obvious? The clothing? Tattoos? Maybe a Latino with a buzz cut or a shaved head. A bandanna? Piercings?

Oh,I know, how about someone with long hair and lots of metal adornments and rings on his hands who wears a heavy black leather jacket in the heat of the summer? Sound like anyone you know? I do and he's a nice guy who I have a lot of respect for and is very concerned obout our situation.

Does this profile make it ok for local authorities to stop them and jack them up simply to see if they might be doing something wrong and, if your law gets passed, hauled in because they might be carrying a 110 on their belt or in their pocket? Of course, once they're checked out and found to be an ordinary citizen and released, that's supposed to be ok. Forget the humiliation and inconvenience of being arrested and booked. But hey, it's just the price of being safe, right? A small price to ensure we "good guys" get to keep our one handers. Yes sir. More elitism.

Of course, down here in San Diego, that will net you a bunch of high schoolers and skate boarders. The GB'ers down here have taken to wearing slacks and shirts. Some of them have gone downright ivy league. Where's your obvious street punk now?

You want to know what I've been doing to help our cause? Well, I've written the letters and e-mails and made the phone calls when I thought they would matter. The same as most of the rest of you. But I've also done something else.

I've been getting the message to the folks who don't read these forums. I've been talking to the folks who aren't in the NRA. In other words, I am preaching to someone other than the choir. I know who elected these idiots like Perata and the others and I trying to get the message to them. They are the ones who need the information.

It does you or me or none of us any good for you, or anyone else, to get on these forums and tell me that they are trying to take my guns or my knives. I already know that. You need to be talking to the people who don't usually hear that. That's what I've been doing.

I'm not going to waste my time or energy running to my politician saying "Oh please Mr. politician, Please don't take my rights". It hasn't worked in the past and it won't work now.

Finally, you misunderstood my last post. I wasn't whining. I was right smack in your face telling you how ****ED UP you are. Obviously, that didn't get through. Please tell me where I was unclear so I won't make that mistake again.

Now, if you want to discuss this one-on-one, my phone number is below. You can even use my nickle. Or, if you would rather discuss this in person, face to face, I will be at the gunshow at the Cow Palace at the end of this month. I'll even leave a free pass for you at the door. Bring your balls.....if you can find them.

Dennis Wright
Wright Knife & Sporting Goods
La Mesa, CA
[email protected]
("Have a knife day!")

[This message has been edited by Dennis Wright (edited 06-06-2001).]

Jim March

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Oct 7, 1998
Dennis, let's back up a sec here. Assuming you DO know something about gun control and it's history, you'll be aware of the best gun carry laws in the nation, the rules in Vermont.

For those not aware, in Vermont there's only two rules about carrying guns: if you're packing and a cop asks if you're packing, you have to tell the truth, and that leads to rule number two: you'd best not have any priors that would affect gun ownership.

It also means there's no prior gov't permission needed to pack.

Now, what Jason (and yes, I'm well aware of his fashion sense, doesn't make a damned bit of difference as to what I think of him) came up with in this alternative to SB274 in it's current form basically establishes "Vermont Carry for Cutlery" in California.

This is what you're up in arms about?

I could understand it if there was any alternative.

Look, they're gonna pass *something* at this point. Ain't no way around that. It's gone 3/4ths of the way through the process with no opposition, it's a friggin' steamroller at this point. We *may* be able to divert it just a bit.

Tell me something? If a particular cop doesn't like how somebody looks, but they've got no priors, how would they possibly get busted under any version of the "criminal control" alternative? Heck, we're somewhat vulnerable under PC653k in it's current form, add in this "detent or blade closure bias" requirement and any of us could get screwed at any time.

I'd be the first one in trouble...I've sued every top cop in my county over their racism, bias, illegality and what's starting to look like corruption in CCW permit issuance. If they pop me on a knife carry bust, I lose standing to sue and I'm the lead plaintiff in the Federal lawsuit on the issue.

See also:

Care to know more about me? This made the front page of the SF Examiner, 4/12/01:

Last question: with this bill on a steamroller track to passage, what's your plan regarding what to next?

I'll be at the Cow Palace. We'll talk, and by that I genuinely mean talk. Do some digging into those links, you'll see what I'm about. If those don't tell you, check out: - it's an Adobe Acrobat file, get the free reader at if needed.

May 1, 2000
Here is a link to last year's thread on the same topic, there are a lot of good ideas in it. For those of you who haven't read it, please do so now:

Our options are limited and our time is short. I don't think we can stop this bill, but we might be able to change it. What can we come up with that will be acceptable to the CDAA, be passable in the state legislature, and have no negative impact on us? That, or find a way to kill it. Anyone know anyone who can attach a rider that will make CA a shall-issue state? That'll kill it, or maybe make it worthwhile. I'm almost out of ideas, we're all on the same side, let's think something up.

Jason aka medusaoblongata
"Is not giving a need? Is not receiving mercy?" - Thus Spoke Zarathustra
"Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about." - Lazarus Long
"Knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting." - Michel Foucault
May 29, 2001
Thanks for the link to the older postings. It really answered a lot of my questions about this situation.

I think that as a fairly new poster here on Blade Forum and with only a recent interest in knives and the laws that pertain to them I was most surprised to see how long this law has been brewing.

My original assumption was that this had been a pretty quick process and due to the rushed nature of this law revision the compromise that has been hammered out was the best that could have been expected.

However, I'm rather surprised to learn that this has been going on for over a year. With that much time I'm far more disappointed than I was with the product that AKTI working with the CDAA has produced.

The DA's have two stated goals in this: One is to give the LEO's laws with which they can "prevent crimes". The second is to protect officers from knifes that can be quickly deployed.

The first part is very troublesome because it allows a LEO to make a felon of me because in his opinion my one handed folder fits the restrictions under the new law.

The DA's say they don't like loosing cases like this because of the "juries letting them off". Well as much as they may dislike seeing a guilty man go free because of an ignorant jury I much prefer that to an innocent, heretofore law abiding citizen being made a felon because a jury decided "my knife didn't have a bias towards closure." (whatever that really means to a non-knife knut)

(Looks to me like my Sebenza is about 1/4 turn with a #2 hexwrench and a drop of WD40 away from being illegal. This or either a few years of use might accomplish the same thing.)

On the second point: This law really doesn't address the second stated intent of the DA's and LEO's at all. If rapid deployment knives are really the menace to LEO's that they say then this law is useless. You've simply moved the gangbanger a notch or two up the knife quality tree to a Spiderco or any of a dozen similar knives they can pick up at a local sporting goods store or off the street. I doubt that LEO's are going to feel much better about being slashed by a knife with a "detent ball" or a "bias towards closing" after all is said and done. If this really is a problem then its hard to imagine much time passing before a new law is proposed.

Frankly, if the intents of this law really were what Mr. Buck said that the CDAA represented to him and they really did have such strong support that some form of this law was going to be passed....why did the bill's sponsors agree to these changes at all?

Apparently they were concerned, at least to some degree, that this bill might not pass without changes. I think it very possible that AKTI settled for far too little.

I think loosing freedom by inches is worse than loosing it all at one time. Or to put it another (and in a PETA offending) way:

You drop a frog in boiling hot water and he will jump out. You put him in cool water and slowly turn up the heat and soon you have frog soup.

California citizens and knife owners everywhere are in the pot and this law turns the heat up another notch. The liberal "cooks" won't stop until the knob is on boil. Will we taste like chicken?

[This message has been edited by Roj Avon (edited 06-06-2001).]

CJ Buck

Apr 15, 1999
I can second guess every deal or compromise I have ever made in my life with the questions of did I go to far or ask for too much.

What was at stake here was the total elimination of the one handed exemption. Will this buy us a few years? We felt that it was worth it. This issue has plagued the knife industry for over 40 years since switchblades were made illegal. If there was an easy answer...

I like what I have heard about focusing on bad people instead of labeling products as "evil". There is no short, or inexpensive road to that outcome. Possibly the NRA will have some clear victories that we can ride the coattails on. We will be talking about this in our next board meeting tomorrow in Atlanta.

CJ Buck
Buck Knives, Inc.
AKTI Member #PR00003

Mar 8, 2001
The knife grabbers will demonize a knife & then get them outlawed even though a majority of the knives are used legally. Just like firearms, we will slowly see a certain knife model being banned. No more one hand opening folders, tactical knives, survival knives, evil serration, finger grips, blade length over 2" & so on. It's easier to control a dis-armed population.