New York was once a free state. And its elected officials were once men of courage and vision instead of corrupt and pusillanimous douchebags. Four of its residents affixed their names and their fates to the Declaration Of Independence, which was no mean act of courage. John Jay negotiated the young Republic’s first peace treaty with Britain before serving as the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and then as the second Governor of New York State. Sadly, John Jay has been dead for 184 years, and the freedoms he fought for in New York are as dead as the great statesman and jurist himself . . .
Let me put this bluntly: New York is occupied territory when we’re talking about effective (armed) self-defense. It’s not that the Empire State has a confusing and contradictory patchwork of stupid knife laws (although it does.) And it’s not that there are many kinds of knives which are illegal per se (although there are.) It’s not even that the definition of ‘gravity knife’ is interpreted by judges to include just about any locking folding knife (and it is.)
It’s that the mere possession of any weapon, including any kind of knife, triggers a legal presumption that you intend to use it unlawfully against another person. That’s what Public Law 265.15.4 clearly states, and that’s how the police enforce it. Particularly in NYC and its environs.
Upstate NY, where I grew up as a boy, was and is a much more relaxed place. But the written laws there are still not on your side; if you have a knife you’re presumed to be planning to slash someone with it.
That’s what happened to Clayton Baltzer this time last year, when the youth-camp counselor was arrested and charged with a high-grade misdemeanor for carrying a small pocketknife. No human in their right mind would consider an ordinary lockback to be a ‘gravity knife,’ but one of New York’s Finest (finest what, I wonder?) eventually succeeded in gripping the blade between his fingers and snapping his wrist violently downward until the handle opened.
This maneuver, the ‘NYPD Flick,’ will turn ANY lockblade into a ‘gravity knife.’ It’s kind of like handing a 10/22 to an epileptic and calling it a machine gun, but this is the kind of twisted logic that rules in the lunatic asylum that is the New York criminal justice system.
New York’s knife laws have gotten me too depressed to go into any more detail. The only prudent advice for any knife fan or gun guy traveling to New York (and this isn’t legal advice) is to skip the trip and go to a free state instead. If you absolutely have to go to NY, don’t take any guns or knives.
And hope nothing bad happens.
And don’t spend any more time or money than you must.