Action Alert: New York Knife Reform Bill On Gov. Cuomo’s Desk

(Update 12/27: KnifeRights is calling for more help getting this across the finish line, so if you live, work, or travel in New York, please call Governor Cuomo’s office.  This post has been bumped forward from 12/22)
The days of being unable to carry a locking knife in New York City may soon be over. Thanks to the efforts of Knife Rights and a near unanimous New York state Senate and Assembly, we will know within the next few days if we can celebrate the end of over a decade of malicious persecution of knife owners, and carry our ordinary locking knives in the Big Apple once again (under four inches and concealed of course). But we will need everyone to pitch in.

From kniferights.org: Knife Rights’ NY Knife Law Reform Bill to Gov. Cuomo – CALL TODAY!

December 20, 2016: After three years of effort, Knife Rights’ Gravity Knife and Switchblade Law Reform Bill, S6483-A/A9042-A, has been transmitted to Governor Cuomo. If you live, work or travel in New York, or plan to, CALL the Governor TODAY and STOP these OUTRAGEOUS arrests and prosecutions! The Governor now has 10 days to sign or veto the bill (in other words, by end of the year), or allow it to become law without his signature.
The bill passed the Legislature by overwhelming margins, 61-1 in the Senate and 117-12 in the Assembly. This bill will prevent hundred’s of bogus arrests every week in New York City. Martin LaFalce of the Legal Aid Society called these arrests and prosecutions “the most discriminatory criminal justice practice in New York State.”

LET’S GET THIS DONE!
CALL Governor Cuomo TODAY!

LET’S GET THIS DONE! Regardless of your personal views of Governor Cuomo or his politics on any other issue, if you live, work or travel in New York, or plan to, please CALL Governor Cuomo TODAY and simply deliver the message that you are “calling to respectfully request that Governor Cuomo please sign S6483-A/A9042-A,” and then thank him. Please be POLITE and RESPECTFUL and REMAIN ON POINT.

This is not the time to berate the Governor about any other political issues – stay on message. IF YOU CAN’T DO THAT, PLEASE DO NOT CALL or EMAIL!

CALL Governor Cuomo TODAY at:
518-474-8390 and Press #3

(Depending on call volume, you may still
be asked to leave a message.)

Unfortunately, Governor Cuomo makes it painful to communicate
with him online. If you are a masochist, you can go to:
www.governor.ny.gov/contact and fill out the lengthy form
(for “Topic” select: “Criminal Justice”). WE RECOMMEND CALLING.

Again, please be POLITE and RESPECTFUL and REMAIN ON POINT; just deliver the message, “I am calling to respectfully request that the Governor please sign S6483-A/A9042-A,” and then thank him. That’s it, keep it short, simple and ON POINT and above all BE POLITE and RESPECTFUL.

In addition to Knife Rights, S6483-A/A9042-A has been endorsed by:

Brooklyn Defender Services
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
JustLeadershipUSA
Legal Aid Society
Local One International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (AFL-CIO)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – Legal Defense Fund<
National Rifle Association
New York Civil Liberties Union (NY chapter of ACLU)
New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
New York State Defenders Association
New York Times Editorial Board
Safari Club International
Sheet Metal Workers International Association (AFL-CIO)
The Katal Center
UAW Local 2325 – Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (AFL-CIO)
Urban Justice Center
U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-8)

New York State’s Office of Court Administration called for reform of the law to prevent these arrests and prosecutions, although it has not specifically endorsed this bill.

S6483-A/A9042-A, sponsored by Assemblyman Dan Quart and Senator Diane Savino, add clarifying “bias-toward closure” exclusions to the state’s gravity knife switchblade definitions, similar to that included in the revision to the Federal Switchblade Act that Knife Rights helped pass in 2009. This clarifying exclusion will prevent the bogus Gravity Knife arrests and prosecutions of honest law-abiding individuals in New York City who are carrying common folding knives, tools that are legal to carry everywhere else in New York State and commonly carried legally throughout the U.S.

Neither Gravity Knives nor Switchblades have a bias towards closure found in common folding knives to keep the blade safely closed in the pocket. Only in New York City has the NYPD and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. abused the state’s gravity knife law to prosecute those carrying common pocket knives by claiming they are illegal Gravity Knives.

The Village Voice newspaper found two years ago that there had been as many as 60,000 gravity-knife prosecutions over the previous decade! Legal Aid Society has confirmed that hundreds of innocent pocket knife carriers are being arrested every week in New York City! You can read the Village Voice article at: http://bit.ly/1MiJbvv

comments

  1. Peter Kennedy says:

    I just called and actually I got through to a live person. I spoke to a nice lady, and I explained why I was interested in the bill, being a constant traveler into New York, and a former resident of Manhattan, expressed the reasons I thought that it was important that the governor signed the bill, gave her my ZIP code which she asked for and that was it. She was very receptive and respectful.

    1. Thank you for letting us know Peter. Glad you got through!

  2. Berneck says:

    Locking knives are illegal? I thought the issue was more with what is classified as a gravity knife….

    1. Berneck,

      DA Vance and the NYPD have, for more than a decade, been using the state gravity knife law to determine that any knife that an officer can “Wrist-flick” and locks open is a gravity knife, even if the knife was not designed to be opened this way and even if it takes the officer multiple attempts to do it. This can be done with virtually any modern locking knife. Even something like a lockback Buck 110 would be a gravity knife using this metric.

      For more info: http://www.thetruthaboutknives.com/2014/10/new-yorks-gravity-knife-prosecutions-are-unjust-and-new-york-knows-it/

      1. Berneck says:

        Very interesting. I knew about the wrist flick, but not the locking part. I actually tighten my knives up for that reason.

      2. BLAMMO says:

        I have a few Buck 110s. They’re fairly new and there’s no way you could open them with a “flick”. Believe me, I’ve tried. Action is very stiff. I doubt years of break-in and use would get it there. They would have to be modified.

        But your point is valid and most knives can be opened much easier. I think older Buck folders were easier. I had one from the ’70s that I (regrettably) sold and I think it was possible, IIRC.

  3. Hannibal says:

    “This is not the time to berate the Governor about any other political issues – stay on message. IF YOU CAN’T DO THAT, PLEASE DO NOT CALL or EMAIL!”

    Well… I’ll leave this one to others then. Me and the guv aren’t on great terms.

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Action Alert: New York Knife Reform Bill On Gov. Cuomo’s Desk

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