New York Wants You To Register Your Knives

photo credit: Buck Ennis

photo credit: Buck Ennis

How would you like to pay a fee, be the subject a background check, submit to fingerprinting, undergo training and a psychological evaluation, and cede discretion to a local government stooge, just for the chance to carry the pocketknife of your choice? All that and more could be on the horizon if Manhattan’s District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr. gets his way.

As we all know by now, over 60,000 people have been prosecuted in the last decade for carrying an ordinary folding knife in New York City. This is down to Vance’s twisting of state-level gravity knife law to declare that any locking knife that can be flicked open (even if it is not designed to be operated in this manner) is an illegal gravity knife. Efforts to amend the statute to require proof of criminal intent have recently stalled in the New York State Senate.

The political wrangling around this bill was no shocker. The real surprise for me came from a quote buried in a Village Voice article on the failed gravity knife reform (emphasis added):

“The Manhattan D.A.’s Office generally opposes outright decriminalization of weapons that can be used as instruments of violent crime but has not actively opposed this bill,” Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman in Vance’s office, wrote in a statement emailed to the Voice. “We would support legislation that allows for people with bona fide needs for gravity knives to get permits to carry them.”

As we’ve seen with firearms laws around the country, such “good-cause” provisions are all too often used as an excuse by the local constabulary to deny the constitutional rights of all but the wealthy or politically connected. I shudder to think of the day this lunacy would expand toward pocketknives, an altogether more commonplace tool than a firearm.

As we have also seen with firearms laws, what happens in California or New York tends to spread if left unchecked.

Fortunately for all of us, District Attorney’s don’t create new laws and right now this is just a pipe dream for Vance. Just one more way to exert control over the subjects citizens in his dominion jurisdiction.

That being said, the best defense is a good offense. Did someone say If you haven’t seen our interview with Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter, you can watch it here to find out what they have been doing to proactively attack unjust knife laws in America.


  1. Rick says:

    Your site is sending me to the App Store on my iPad. Please find the offending advertiser and threaten them with some of the fine products reviewed on this site.


      Sorry, I know we are one of then worst sites I regularly visit, but even sites like Instapundit are affected. The only way I have found to avoid it is to turn on the mobile viewer.

  2. cmeat says:

    these laws are all fallout from west side story. ban finger snapping!
    three weeks spent picking up the grid in manhattan after h. sandy and i could have been jailed for a felony, unbeknownst to me.

  3. sagebrushracer says:

    shoot, IMO gravity knife is defined as “hold the knife closed and upside down, if gravity pulls it open, even a little, then its a gravity knife.” that silly wrist flick business is INERTIA. Bill Nye would slap the shit out of these guys with SCIENCE!

  4. James says:

    These types of discussions are sickening to me. Who does this lawyer think he is helping by trying to control what kinds of knives people can and can’t carry? Who does he think he is to try and control everyone’s lives in that city?

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New York Wants You To Register Your Knives

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