I received this in my email this morning, and was struck by the “fine print”. Apparently, those of you in the Empire State are missing out on a sweet deal. Most of you can get a free CRKT Kit Carson M16 if you spend $99 before the Christmas Shipping Deadline 12-18 on the CRKT site. But New York’s unjust gravity-knife restrictions leave others (mostly) shit-outta-luck.
I say “mostly” because I am a big fan of the CRKT Minimalist, but I am a bigger fan of having the freedom to choose what tool I chose to carry.
Seeing this reminded me that it had been a while since I had checked on the New York knife-law reform bill. At last check, it had passed both houses of the legislature (unanimously in the Senate), and was waiting for Governor Cuomo’s signature. Guess what? Despite having NAACP, NYACLU, Village Voice, NYT, NRA, KnifeRights, and legions more support, the bill will expire if the Governor doesn’t sign it within the month.
Here is the latest (Nov 30th) from Jon Campbell of the Village Voice. He is the authority on the subject when it comes to the local NYC press.
A bill that would prevent what the Legal Aid Society estimates is “at least” 5,000 unjust arrests per year is languishing without Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature, with less than a month before it’s set to expire. State and federal lawmakers joined criminal justice groups for a rally at City Hall Monday, making a final push for reform to the state’s much abused “gravity knife” law as time runs short.
An estimated 60,000 people — 86 percent of them Black and Latino — have landed in jail for knives that are widely available in city stores, and which were never supposed to be illegal in the first place. In some cases, the statute can be charged as a felony, earning defendants prison sentences of up to 7 years for simple possession.
“This is discrimination on steroids,” Martin LaFalce, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society, told reporters on Monday. “Our clients are electricians, they’re stage hands, they’re custodians, they’re construction workers … they do hard work, work that requires tools, tools that are sold in stores, but are treated as weapons once they’re in our clients hands, once they’re in black and brown hands…
…“You have to look at the scale and the scope of the harm,” Robert Perry, legislative director for the NYCLU, told the Voice. “And when you see tens of thousands of folks being prosecuted for simple possession, with no intent for harm, clearly there’s a serious civil liberty concern.”
It appears that DA Cyrus Vance Jr. and Mayor DerpBlasio have the upper hand, (or incriminating pictures of Gov. Cuomo) as the clock is running out. Village Voice continues:
The bill is opposed by local district attorneys, particularly Manhattan’s Cyrus Vance Jr., who quietly lobbied against the change for years. He and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill argue that loosening restrictions on gravity knives would feed an uptick in stabbings. The department has repeatedly declined the Voice’s requests to provide statistics that might support that contention. Savino said on Monday that she had also sought such evidence from the department but had been similarly denied. Former NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton has described the increase in knife crimes as little more than a statistical blip.
Former prosecutors have told the Voice that gravity knife arrests are little more than a way for NYPD officers to meet their quotas. Matt Galluzzo, a former prosecutor in Manhattan, told us in 2014 that the arrests can be tempting for a cop on the beat. “You don’t have to fight the guy, you don’t have to chase him … it’s an easy way to make an arrest. And they’re under pressure to make arrests.”
“To be blunt, this law is a way for the NYPD to make numbers,” LaFalce told the crowd on Monday. “It’s the most discriminatory criminal justice practice in New York state.”
Perhaps the most vocal opposition to the reform over the past year has come from Mayor Bill de Blasio. In a pair of letters sent behind the scenes, de Blasio urged the legislature to vote against the measure this summer, and he has urged Cuomo to veto the measure since its passage. His advocacy puts the purportedly progressive mayor, elected on a police reform agenda, in the odd position of opposing virtually every major criminal justice reform organization in the state. It also aligns him with people like Patrick Lynch, the demagogic president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, one of the letter’s signatories.
As I said, New York residents are SOL, because it appears your Governor and Mayor want you to FOAD.