Information: Industry News - October 1, 2015
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American Knife & Tool Institute Presents “Common Sense Award” to Senators Mike Enzi and Ron Wyden

Cody, WY – The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) today presented Senators Mike Enzi, R-WY, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, with the “Common Sense Award.” The award is designed to honor Members of Congress who have worked across party lines to further common sense legislation.

In its first ever presentation, AKTI honored Senators Enzi and Wyden for their tireless work on the Knife Owners’ Protection Act (KOPA), a bill that will ensure federal protection for lawful knife owners from the current patchwork of state and local knife laws.

“Knives are an essential tool for hunters and various occupations and the right to carry them with you when you’re on the road is something that should be protected,” Enzi said. “With thousands of knife laws across the country, our legislation provides a common sense solution that respects the rights of states while providing the protection that knife owners need to ensure they can travel without fear of prosecution.”
“No one benefits from the confusion and legal limbo surrounding how lawful knife owners can transport their knives,” Wyden said. “This common-sense bill provides clear rules that respect state laws, ensure public safety and protect the rights of knife owners.”

Under current U.S. code, lawful gun owners are allowed to transport firearms legally in both the state of origin and the state of destination, provided they are properly stored and in accordance with all federal restrictions. However, no such protection exists for knife owners wishing to transport knives to and from states in which they are legal, but through jurisdictions with varying requirements. KOPA would allow legal interstate travel for knives, provided the knives are transported to and from states where the law allows possession of said knives, and they are transported in closed containers. The bill, S. 1315, which has passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and is co-sponsored by Senators Mike Lee, R-UT, Joe Manchin, D-WV, John Thune, R-SD, and Martin Heinrich, D-NM.

“Since our inception, AKTI has looked to partner with legislators operating above partisan politics and interested in bringing sound, practical solutions for people who depend on knives in their daily lives,” said CJ Buck, AKTI President and Co-Founder.

“It has been an honor to work Senators Enzi and Wyden on common sense legislation that brings clarity to people who travel with knives as part of their daily professional and recreational activities.”

For nearly 20 years, AKTI has served as the go-to resource for knife owners looking to ensure that they comply with all local, state, and federal laws related to knives. One of the biggest complaints and points of confusion AKTI hears about from lawful knife owners involves the interstate transport of knives. While citizens are making every effort to comply with patchwork state and local laws, it has become clear that there is the need for a federal protection for sportsmen, hunters, and other law-abiding knife owners that does not interfere with state and local restrictions on knife use.

By Soldier Systems

LAPD Defends Officers Who Purchased Discounted Guns

Los Angeles police officials this week defended officers who privately purchased Smith & Wesson handguns at a special discount, saying they did not believe the officers violated city ethics rules when buying the guns after evaluating them for a new department contract.

The purchase was scrutinized in a recent report by Inspector General Alex Bustamante, who said the officers in the unit that evaluated the Smith & Wesson pistols used their relationship with the gun company to get a special discount for officers in the same unit, a possible violation of city ethics rules.

The report also raised concerns about the level of oversight of how equipment was evaluated by the LAPD before it was purchased, along with the amount of training officers receive about the city's ethics rules.

On Tuesday, LAPD officials told the Police Commission they did not believe the discount purchase violated ethics rules largely because the officers bought the guns from Smith & Wesson, not from the Smith & Wesson dealer who was awarded the contract with the city to provide the LAPD's guns. 

The Firearms and Tactics Section officers privately bought the discounted guns so they could become more familiar with them and better train other officers, LAPD officials said. At the time, the department had funding to buy only about 200 guns -- not enough to issue the weapons to recruits as well as the training staff. 

But LAPD officials agreed that the process of evaluating new equipment for the LAPD needed tightening up. They acknowledged that the division tasked with coordinating and supervising the evaluation of the gun was left out of the process.

The department also said it was expanding the amount of training LAPD officials receive about the statements of economic interest that some are required to file with the city. Those officials will now receive "face-to-face" training with the city Ethics Commission instead of the two-hour online course offered now, Deputy Chief Bill Murphy said.

"There are some things we could have done a little bit better on," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told reporters after the meeting. "Do I think there was any evil intent? Absolutely not. Do I think that the officers willingly violated any of the ethics codes? No, I do not."

Bustamante's report, made public Friday, said that the group of officers bought about $27,000 worth of discounted guns and magazines in a "one-time, bulk purchase" last year shortly after Smith & Wesson became the LAPD's standard-issue duty weapon.

The Firearms and Tactics Sections officers cut the deal with the gun company at a Las Vegas gun show, even though Smith & Wesson had previously refused another request on behalf of the department for a similar discount for all LAPD officers who might want to privately purchase the pistols, the report said.

Although the unit's officers were allowed to purchase various pistol models and calibers, the report found that the average discount for Smith & Wesson M&P 9-millimeter handguns was about $125 to $130 off the already reduced price of $455 usually offered to law enforcement officers.

City ethics rules prohibit city employees who are required to file statements of economic interest from soliciting gifts or accepting gifts of more than $100 from a "restricted source" -- someone who has sought or signed a contract with the city employee's agency.

Bustamante's report said eight of the 42 officers who bought the guns were required to file such statements.

The police commissioners did not say at Tuesday's meeting whether they believed the officers violated the ethics rules.

Vice President Steve Soboroff said he didn't see any "intentional ethical violation." But another commissioner, Kathleen Kim, called the findings "deeply troubling."

"The concern with a subset of department employees purchasing the Smith & Wesson weapon at a discounted rate is the appearance of impropriety," she said. "The role of a contractor ... is simply one step removed."

Arif Alikhan, the LAPD's special assistant for constitutional policing, noted that the city signed the gun contract before the discount deal was made. It was also common, he said, for gun companies to sell discounted weapons to training officers so police could feel "competent and confident" with the new weapons.

Alikhan said he believed the report did not portray the full context of how the guns were evaluated and procured.

Bustamante called for improvements in the evaluation and procurement process and said the department's staff needed to be better educated on the city's ethics rules.

"Should we be trying to guard people from putting themselves in a position that may appear to be a conflict?" he said. "I think the answer should be yes."

Matt Johnson, the Police Commission's president, said that "from the 40,000-foot perspective, I think we can all agree that the whole process needs to be tightened up."

The Police Commission directed the department and inspector general to report back in 30 days with recommendations on how to address the concerns outlined in the report. 

By Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times

Wildlife Conservation Remains a Priority as National Hunting and Fishing Day is Celebrated

On Saturday, National Hunting and Fishing Day was celebrated by the more than 1.1 million anglers, a half-million hunters plus people who enjoy wildlife photography or just watch and enjoy Missouri’s rich wildlife and natural resources. Missouri hunters and anglers have a lot to celebrate. Southwest Missouri offers a variety of game to hunt and helps make the state one of the top in the nation for fishing.

By the early 1970s, when the anti-hunting movement grew more active, conservation leaders began to realize that most people didn’t know the invaluable contribution of sportsmen in wildlife restoration. Many sportsmen were also unaware of that fact. Not well known was sportsmen’s leadership in enacting needed legislation at the state and federal levels to conserve fish and wildlife and restore habitat. That is when National Hunting and Fishing Day was conceived by organizations that endorse hunting and fishing.

On NH&F Day, many outdoor youth events were held including one in Winona at the Twin Pines Conservation Area, where a family fishing day took place. Everyone enjoyed a variety of fish related activities.

More than 125 youngsters along with family and friends attended a fun event in Nevada where kids’ events included archery. They learned about deer, turkey and duck hunting, and shot clay targets. Younger children shot BB guns. Adam Dean, organizer of the event, said, “this was our fifth annual Youth Outdoor Event. It’s all about the kids, they are the future of our outdoor sports. They received free admission, free food and door prizes. The weather was good. It has grown into a big, fun event.

Kids’ activities started at 9 a.m. and continued until 4 p.m. Among the most popular was firing a black power gun. Over the years, we have had great sponsors. The first year we only had one sponsor, but this year we had 40. It is a good event to tie in with the annual National Hunting and Fishing Day. I think this event helps us pass our hunting and fishing heritage to our next generation. Many of the kids may not have any other exposure to these type activities.”

The Outdoor Youth Event was hosted by the National Wild Turkey Federation chapter Osage Prairie Thunderin’ Toms as well as the Missouri Conservation Department, Ducks Unlimited and 4-H Shooting Sports. Families in attendance were from all across the Ozarks. Hugh Davis, from Joplin, said, “I had heard about the event, so I came over to see what it was all about. I was impressed and will work to do a similar event in Joplin. I saw a lot of happy kids that learned about and enjoyed the outdoors. It was an event that projected a positive impact of the mission of NH&F Day, getting more families and children outdoors.”

There was a mountain man camp with Les Ray to show the kids survival techniques.

The 2015 fall firearm turkey season starts Oct. 1 and will run for the entire month.

Having a monthlong fall season is another chapter in the success of modern-day turkey hunting.

Both spring and fall turkey hunting are great for different reasons. In the spring, hunters have those big toms that are gobbling plus the possibility of finding morel mushrooms and good fishing after the morning hunt ends. In the fall, often the color in the outdoors is exceptional. You may hunt all day, and you might harvest some of the fall bounty like nuts, fruits and other goodies that are available. There isn’t nearly as much competition for fall turkeys as there is in the spring. Both seasons are special.

The annual NHF Day occurs on the fourth Saturday in September, is memorable and enjoyable one for all outdoorsmen, women and children. In Missouri’s wildlife and fishing clubs, state wildlife management agencies and other interested outdoor groups organized exhibits, demonstration stations and hands-on learning experiences that should entice old-timers and novices alike.

By Ken White, Springfield News-Leader