While we are on the subject of New York knife insanity, it is our sincere hope that 2016 is the year that the abomination of NYC “gravity knife” prohibition is finally consigned to the dustbin of history. A companion pair of bills has been introduced in the NY legislature which would curb this unjust situation.
This is not of course the first time this effort has been made. Last June, the Assembly passed a bill which would have removed gravity knives from the NY list of deadly weapons, but this was scuttled at the last minute by upstate Republican Mike Nozzolio who killed it in his committee.
The new bills would go even further, providing positive affirmation for both ordinary and assisted-opening knives.
January 24, 2016: Two companion bills, A 9042 and S 6483, have been introduced in New York that would add bias-towards closure language to the state switchblade and gravity knife definitions, sponsored by Assemblyman Dan Quart and Senator Diane Savino. The bills clarify the definition of “Switchblade” and “Gravity Knife” by adding the exception, “does not include a knife that has a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist, or arm to overcome the bias toward closure and open the knife.”
These new bills, developed with Knife Rights’ input, are a more comprehensive solution, incorporating the language that was passed by Congress in 2009, with Knife Rights’ support, amending the Federal Switchblade Act to prevent U.S. Customs from redefining switchblades to include one-hand opening and assisted-opening knives. Last year and the year before, Assemblyman Quart’s bills were passed by the Democratic controlled Assembly, but were not acted upon by the Republican controlled Senate. Those bills simply added a “criminal intent” requirement, but didn’t change the definitions.
New York City’s Village Voice newspaper found that over 60,000 people have been prosecuted for carrying common pocket knives in the city. Knife Rights’ civil rights lawsuit challenging these bogus arrests and prosecutions is scheduled for trial on April 29 after the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously reversed the District Court’s erroneous dismissal of the case on procedural “standing” grounds.
Stand by folks, our efforts in pressuring the NY legislature last June did not go without notice, and we stand ready to do answer the call again when the time comes. We are going to need your help getting this over the finish line.