[Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2010, at 12:30 p.m.] New Hampshire State Representative Jennifer Coffey, a senior Advisor of PGNH, and attorney Evan Nappen, PGNH General Counsel and Director, were presented with awards at the BLADE show last week in Atlanta, Georgia.
Left: Alan Gura (lead attorney on the Supreme Court's Heller case); Rep. Jennifer Coffey; Doug Ritter (Chairman of Knife Rights, Inc.); attorney Evan Nappen (PGNH General Counsel and Director)
The BLADE show included an awards breakfast sponsored by Knife Rights, Inc., with keynote speaker Alan Gura, the lead attorney for the landmark Heller case in which the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Second Amendment two years ago. At that breakfast, Jenn Coffey was presented with Knife Right's inaugural "Freedom's Edge" award, the first of an annual series. Per the Knife Rights press release:
The Freedom’s Edge™ Award is to be given annually to honor a local, state or national elected representative who has demonstrated their commitment to a Sharper Future™ by leadership in the fight to protect or enhance our knife rights.
Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, "Representative Coffey is being recognized for her courageous initiative and sponsorship of the New Hampshire Knife Rights Bill which will legalize switchblades, dirks, daggers and stilettos for New Hampshire citizens." With support from Knife Rights, at this time the bill has passed by unanimous consent in both houses and is on its way to the Governor for signature. [Note: the press release was written before Governor Lynch signed the bill on May 18.] This will make New Hampshire one of the most knife-friendly states in the country. Said Ritter, "The Freedom’s Edge™ Award represents a Sharper Future™ for all knife owners."
Evan Nappen, who took the stage to introduce Rep. Coffey, was surprised to be presented with another Knife Rights award, the inaugural "Freedom's Point" award, also the first of an annual series. Per a second Knife Rights press release:
The Freedom’s Point™ Award is to be given annually to honor a individual citizen who has demonstrated their commitment to a Sharper Future™ by leadership in the fight to protect or enhance our knife rights.
Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, "Evan Nappen is being recognized for two significant contributions during the past year. Last summer, when U.S. Customs was attempting to redefine what a switchblade was in a manner that would have adversely impacted 80% of the knives sold in the U.S. today, Evan volunteered to develop Knife Rights' official response to U.S. Customs. He put together an excellent legal brief clearly exposing the fallacies and inconsistencies of Customs' position in a matter of a few short days." That effort eventually resulted in Congress passing an amendment to the Federal Switchblade Act exempting assisted opening and one-hand opening knives."
Doug continued, "Every legislative initiative requires someone local to lead the charge. In New Hampshire, it was Evan who worked long hours to rally support for the Knife Rights bill introduced by Representative Jenn Coffey. It was Evan who spearheaded the fundraising effort. It was Evan who organized the testimony in front of the committees. We would not have been so successful in New Hampshire if it weren't for the leadership and hard work of Evan Nappen." The Knife Rights Bill passed in New Hampshire legalizes switchblades, dirks, daggers and stilettos.
Evan was further honored later at the BLADE show's dinner banquet, when he was awarded the show's coveted Publisher's Award for his many important contributions over the past year. These included not only the New Hampshire legislation and help with many other legal issues all over the country including Arizona's state preemption law, but most significantly his twenty-page legal brief which many believe was a critical factor in Congress's landmark legislation not to reclassify most folding knives as switchblades. Evan received this award as a representative of all the individuals and groups who fought for knife freedom throughout this year.