Butler County Times Gazette
  • Dangerous knives

  • Innocent until proven guilty; that’s the way it is supposed to be in America. But is it? Until recently you were presumed guilty in Kansas if you so much as possessed a “dangerous knife,” especially if it is in your pocket.
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  • Innocent until proven guilty; that’s the way it is supposed to be in America. But is it? Until recently you were presumed guilty in Kansas if you so much as possessed a “dangerous knife,” especially if it is in your pocket.
    What is a dangerous knife? In the hands of a child, is there any knife that is not dangerous? The same could well be said of a knife in the hands of my wife. In truth, all knives are dangerous tools that deserve our respect.
    Knowingly selling, manufacturing, purchasing or possessing switch blades, knives that have a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in the handle of the knife, and also any knives having a blade that opens or falls or is ejected into position by the force of gravity or by an outward, downward or centrifugal thrust or movement, was criminal use of a weapon. Knowingly carrying such a knife was criminal carrying of a weapon
    It is likely that many of the new assisted-opening pocket knives could be construed as illegal under this law.
    If you possessed a “dangerous knife”, a straight edged razor, a dagger (a sharp pointed knife for stabbing), or a stiletto (a slender dagger with a blade thick in proportion to its breadth), or a dirk (a long straight-bladed dagger) and somehow the government knew that you intended to use the knife unlawfully against another, you were guilty of a crime in just possessing it.
    Knife law in Kansas was so strict and could be applied so liberally that ordinary pocket knives had to be specifically exempted from the law to keep many law abiding Kansans from being presumed guilty.
    If you carried the “dangerous knife”, straight edged razor, dagger, stiletto, or dirk in your pocket or on your belt under your coat, anywhere it was concealed on ones person, you were a criminal.
    But not anymore, HB 2033 which was passed last session by the legislature, with my YES vote, and was signed by the governor, became law on July 1 and changed all this. No longer is any of the above illegal on its face.
    But, you still better be careful with any “bludgeon, sand club, metal knuckles, throwing star, billy, blackjack, slungshot, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character.” They are still illegal.
    However, no need to worry about ordinary clubs, baseball bats, hammers, automobiles, screw drivers, awls, etc. which are the most commonly used as murder weapons. You can still knowingly possess, carry, buy, sell, manufacture, or conceal these on your person without breaking the law.
    What’s the point? Tools of all kinds are made for specific, legitimate purposes and are often dangerous. The purpose may even be aiding you in self protection. Americans expect the liberty to be presumed innocent by our government and to be free to possess and be trusted with dangerous tools. It’s called personal responsibility. Our Constitution protects us from government. Limitations on what we can or cannot possess should be the exception and not the rule. We cannot be arrested for simply carrying a dangerous tool. Government, law enforcement, cannot arbitrarily stop an American on the street. We cannot be indiscriminately searched, nor can our car or our house. There must be cause in order for government to presume us guilty.
    Page 2 of 2 - Government is intruding in our lives more all the time. It’s time we started paying attention and guarding our constitutionally guaranteed liberties, or we’ll lose them. In America we don’t need government to be our momma!

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