Congress proposes bill that would cost taxpayers $77 million just to tell knife owners they can carry

Better be careful with that butter knife you are wielding at a local picnic because your right to carry it may soon cost the taxpayers $77 million just to let you know that they got your back when it comes to your right to have it.  In a complete waste of our government’s time and money, elected officials in Washington are proposing a bill that would appropriate up to $77 million for state and local officials to acknowledge your right to carry a knife from one location to another, despite the fact that American’s have been doing just that for nearly 250 years.

1315, Knife Owners’ Protection Act of 2015

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.

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 UMRA. – Congressional Budget Office

Knives and cutting instruments have been a vital tool in the hands of mankind since the days of the bronze and iron ages, and were instrumental in building civilizations and cultivating agriculture.  Knives of any size have also been an important form of protection since not everyone had or has access to firearms.


The lunacy of Congress to force an unfunded mandate on states that will add up to $77 million to their budgets just to make citizens aware of their rights to carry a knife proves more than anything that our legislative branch has little real work to do, and that an obsession over weapons is still proliferating within the ideological activism of many elected officials.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for,, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.

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