Governor Cuomo waited until the very last day to cave to pressure from Mayor DerpBlasio and Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance, vetoing the knife-law reform bill. Rather than make a courageous stand explaining his veto and why the law is a bad idea (his office did issue a written statement), he chose to go against the will of a unanimous NY State Senate, and an amalgamation of Civic and Media organizations including the NAACP, NYACLU, NRA, Village Voice, New York Times, and dozens of others, in an 11th hour veto as people were distracted by the New Years holiday. He could have done this in the light of day, instead he chose a weasel’s way out.
From KnifeRights Chairman Doug Ritter:
Waiting until the last possible moment, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed Knife Rights’ Gravity Knife and Switchblade Reform Bill, effectively giving the finger to New York’s legislature that overwhelmingly passed the bill and the large coalition of organizations, many part of his own constituency, which supported the bill. Despite the thousands who called and emailed the Governor to sign the bill, and thanks very much for those who did so, he sided with the disingenuous arguments made by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., virtually the only ones who opposed the bill. In vetoing this bill he has potentially doomed thousands more to arrest and prosecution for carrying common pocket knives that won’t get someone arrested virtually anywhere except in New York City.
Despite Cuomo’s avowed commitment to criminal justice reform in New York, this veto clearly shows the lie to that claim.
Next year’s session of the New York Legislature is almost upon us and we’ll be back again working to fix the state’s Gravity Knife law to prevent these arrests and prosecutions. This bill passed with such large majorities in both houses of the legislature that an override of a veto is theoretically possible.
Meanwhile, our five-year-old Federal civil rights lawsuit over the constitutionality of New York City’s “wrist flick” test awaits a decision which could settle the issue for certain.