Wednesday, October 19, 2016

NRA Joins NAACP, New York Times, NYCLU, and others to Support Knife Law Reform

The four knives on the bottom left are traditional gravity knives. Some police officers have found the others to be "gravity knives" in NYC.

On October 12, the New York State's ACLU affiliate, the NYCLU, joined the NRA, the NAACP, the New York Times editorial board, the Legal Aid society, the office of Court Administration, and the Village Voice in support of Knife law reform. 

This unusual set of allies was brought together by the heavy handed abuse of the current knife law by New York City prosecutors, especially District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

As many as 80% of the arrests for possession of common pocket knives were of Hispanics and blacks.  Common pocket knives have been characterized as "gravity knives" by a bizarre interpretation of the law. That interpretation is almost exclusively in New York City. 

A lawsuit against District Attorney Vance by Knife Rights is in progress, but may take years to bring relief.  We are not talking a small number of abuses.  The Village Voice estimates 60,000 arrests over a 10 year period.  That was two years ago.

The lawsuit may be moot.  Knife Rights also pushed a legislative reform that would prevent most abuses of the law.  It was heavily lobbied against by Cyrus Vance. This year it passed both houses of the New York legislature with overwhelming margins: 117 to 12 in the Assembly, unanimously in the Senate.

It is unknown if Governor Cuomo will sign or veto the bill.  New York City Mayor De Blasio has come out against it, as has the Cyrus Vance.  Now the NYCLU has sent a letter in support of the reform to Governor Cuomo. From, here are the concluding paragraphs of the NCLU letter:
Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have been charged with carrying gravity and switchblade knives since 2000, although the knives the law was actually meant to ban are today rare antiques.4
Nevertheless, the penal code provisions prohibiting possession of gravity knives and switchblades are aggressively enforced, in manner that is starkly discriminatory. Knife possession charges are disproportionately brought against people of color, and stops in which a knife is found are far more likely to result in arrest for people of color than for white New Yorkers.5

The legal consequences can be grave. The law permits prosecutors to charge possession of a gravity knife or switchblade as a felony if the defendant has a prior criminal conviction. And because these offenses are prosecuted as strict liability crimes, any person with a criminal record who owns a folding knife is, for all intents and purposes, a Class D felon waiting to be stopped.

This bill would amend the legal definitions of gravity knives and switchblades, excluding from these definitions knives whose mechanism creates pressure against releasing the knife blade, and a bias toward closure once the knife is opened. These amendments will restore the meaning of the law as intended, and will prevent the unwarranted arrest and prosecution of persons carrying common utility knives and work knives

The New York Civil Liberties Union joins the New York State Office of Court Administration, law enforcement officials, defenders, and civil rights advocates in calling on you to approve A.9082-A/S.6483-A.
Knife Rights has shown the time is right for the repeal of irrational and unconstitutional knife laws.  Even in New York City, organizations that are often in opposition, can agree to stop the abuse that has been ongoing for decades. 

Perhaps Governor Cuomo will sign the bill into law. A number of civil rights organizations, including the NRA, are asking him to do so.  But he may find political power brokers like Mayor De Blasio and Cyrus Vance to be more persuasive.

If he does not sign the bill, perhaps Knife Rights will prevail in court. 

Eventually, knives will be recognized as arms protected by the Second Amendment.  In New York City, we have not reached that point.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

It matters not that New York PRETENDS to not recognize the Declared, Constitutionally Codified, Enumerated specifically and directly, admitted judicially as fundamental all encompassing Privilege and immunity regarding the ownership and carriage of bearable arms.

Ignorance of the law can not be used as a defense to charged breaking of the law and seeing as how states can not make or enforce laws that even abridge rights, especially the second amendment being no different than the first amendment, New York obviously and truthfully has no power, no authority to criminalize and prosecute ownership and or carriage of blades.

It is time those in powr be charged and prosecuted themselves for their own crime of individually and or conspiracy to violate the rights of the Citizens of this Country. No, not just civilly, but Criminally as well.

It is agreeable and Constitutional in nature, both on its face and in practice, to criminalize various abuses that are outside the parameters that form a boundary between what government is allowed and tasked to do and what it is prohibited from doing. Among these examples are robbery rape and murder committed by force of arms. There is no right, no privilege or immunity, to use a gun to accomplish those crimes by force. Claiming "prevention" does not remove the boundaries government is bound to. Sure, everyone wants to stop those crimes, but punishing everyone with "prevention" is itself a crime. Collectivist solutions, centrally planned actions, usually are criminal toward rights of individuals.

"prevention" ahem. It is just a codeword for confiscation. In the moment, of course, the solution is to bear arms in self defense - and NOBODY will claim that blades are not arms, much less bearable arms. Enough is enough - all the government has to do is stop the tomfoolery that democrats (including those who wear a (R) in Rino fashion) engage in.

Hey New York, ummm yeah, that Constitution thingy? Yeah, it actually is enforceable against YOU TOO.

Anonymous said...

Basically the configuration of an arm has nothing to do with its purpose. being stated as the right to defend yourself at all times any where you are by any means necessary. factually a cut from a sharp blade is better than a cut from a dull blade. In the military it is a violation of regulations to sharpen a bayonet. the bayonet is supposed to go in and out and it will if dull , if sharp it will drag or get stuck. sharp cuts heal faster. I do not know of anyone that would want to be operated on with a dull blade. I have experienced a ragged cut well over ten inches long. the trimmings to get the ragged edges cleaned up are what I left in Vietnam. it took over 29 stiches about a quarter inch a part to close it up. I was awake watching it be cleaned up. the trimmings of the stiches are still coming to the surface. I get a sore spot then in a few days a piece of 3.0 silk pops out. it took eleven stiches in side to close the bleeders, plus the 29 out side. It has been operated on three times. six weeks recovery every time. it still is not right but I am not going to let them cut again. as they say all if fair in love and war. if you don't bring the bigger better weapon don't expect to win at either. some people practice and some people practice a lot. the right weapon for the right job.

Magazine capacity limits are stupid. a ten round magazine and eleven attackers? discrimination is against. nobody is going to take them away they law they should all get at least one round. I remember a sapper attack in November of 1968. many thousands of rounds were fired, body count eleven. it took hours to find all of the pieces. a few of the remains fit in a sandwich bag and some of them just disappeared in a puff of smoke. never found the four women that quit smoking. it broke their habit of taking on a 40mm duster with AKs. the government was not created to tell you what you can buy, what you can carry or what you can use to defend yourself. I have a considerable number of various kinds of weapons. nobody is going to take them away. I bought them legally, I use them legally. and some of them I have made myself.