Last week, the United States Senate passed crucial legislation that will protect pocketknives used by tens of millions of Americans. The amendment, actively supported by the National Rifle Association, was included in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill and will keep pocketknives from being classified as illegal switchblades.

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) authored the amendment and were instrumental in its passage through Congress. U.S. Congressmen Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) also played vital roles in the amendment’s passage in the House.

“This amendment was necessary to prevent commonly-used pocketknives from being branded as illegal switchblades,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “The National Rifle Association is grateful to Senators Cornyn, Pryor and Hatch and Congressmen Latta and Minnick, whose leadership fixed a provision that would have criminalized tens of millions of law-abiding Americans — including millions of hunters and sportsmen.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) proposed amending the Switchblade Knife Act of 1958 earlier this year, which would have changed the interpretation of the definition of switchblade knives to include assisted-opening knives. Assisted-opening knives are frequently used by hunters, anglers, farmers, ranchers, firefighters, law enforcement and emergency personnel and others who may need to open a knife with only one hand. The measure, which will prevent this re-classification, now awaits President Obama’s signature.