Knife Rights Group Files Lawsuit Against Philadelphia to End Knife Prohibition

On May 5, 2023, Knife Rights filed a federal lawsuit challenging the City of Philadelphia’s prohibition on the “use or possess(ion of) any cutting weapon upon the public streets or upon any public property at any time,” in addition to the knife ban within 100 feet of any educational institution.  Knife Rights members Keith Fetsurka and Scott Mele have joined the pro-knife organization in this case. These individuals are represented by attorneys John W. Dillon at the Dillon Law Group and William Sack.

The defendants in this case are Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and the City of Philadelphia. The lawsuit in question, Knife Rights, Inc. v. Outlaw, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 

In the complaint, the plaintiffs claim that Philadelphia’s prohibition is unconstitutional and stated that “there can be no question that knives are “arms” protected under the plain text of the Second Amendment.… And indeed, the Supreme Court made clear in [NYSRPA v. Bruen] that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect the right to acquire, possess, and carry arms for self-defense and all other lawful purposes inside and outside the home.”

Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter stated, “Under Supreme Court precedent, Philadelphia’s ban on carry and use of knives in public cannot pass muster and must be enjoined. Since 2010, Knife Rights has led the charge to restore the right to keep and bear knives in 27 states, including the repeal of Pennsylvania’s ban on switchblade (automatic) knives last year. As the premier advocacy organization for the right to possess and carry knives, Knife Rights looks forward to striking down all unconstitutional knife bans throughout the United States.”

In its 2022 NYSRPA v. Bruen decision, the Supreme Court stressed that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, which is applicable at the against state and local level via the Fourteenth Amendment, is not “a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.” Back in 2021, Knife Rights filed a key amicus brief in the Supreme Court that was alluded to in the Bruen decision.

Attorney John Dillon declared, “It’s time for Philadelphia to accept reality and understand that it can no longer strip residents and visitors of their right to keep and bear arms for self-defense by banning carry of knives in virtually all public places. The City’s ban has never prevented a crime, it has never saved a life, it has never helped anyone. All that it has done is prohibited peaceable people from their right to carry a knife for self-defense and that too often leads to unnecessary interactions with law enforcement, sometimes with tragic results.” 

Similar standards apply to knives restrictions. NYSRPA v. Bruen determined that a weapon that is either not “dangerous” or not “unusual” cannot be banned. 

Knife Rights is the premier grassroots knife owners’ organization in the United States. Knife Rights’ campaigns to liberalize knife laws have resulted in 44 bills passed in repealing knife bans in 27 states and over 175 cities and towns since 2010.

The right to self-defense spans knives and firearms. A man that cannot defend himself with lethal objects is ultimately a slave who is at the mercy of criminals and despotic governments.

Anyone that’s serious about upholding the right to self-defense would do everything possible to roll back restrictions against knife and gun usage at all levels of government. Such sacred freedoms merit eternal vigilance for them to be preserved for future generations to enjoy

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