In a serious blow to the attempts by New York City and NYC District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. to derail Knife Rights’ federal civil rights lawsuit against them, U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones on September 10 denied their motions for judgment on the pleadings and to dismiss the case.
The ruling comes on the heels of a decision by Federal Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis on September 7 allowing victimized NYC retailer Native Leather to join the case as a plaintiff.
Download Judge Jones’ opinion and order here: http://bit.ly/ODNGi4
Together, Knife Rights said these rulings affirm that its lawsuit is valid on its face and will proceed to trial.
“Despite their attempts to make this case go away, NYC and DA Vance will now be held fully accountable in federal court by Knife Rights for their disgraceful attempts to demonize the most widely-owned pocketknives in America as contraband, and to intimidate honest knife retailers into making six-figure forced ‘contributions’ to the City, under threat of criminal penalty, in order to avoid prosecution,” said Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter.
The case seeks a judicial determination that the New York state laws regarding “switchblades” and “gravity knives” are unconstitutionally vague as applied to common pocketknives with a bias towards closure, including one-hand opening and assisted-opening folding knives. An example of a one-hand opener is Sal Manaro’s custom folder pictured above.
“The dismissal of these motions vindicates our position that there are real constitutional issues involved,” Ritter noted. “The City cannot simply expand the state law to persecute knife owners and retailers to suit their own ends.
“Suing the largest city in the U.S. is not something to be done lightly, but it is essential to our freedoms that New York not be allowed to trample on our rights, and Knife Rights has stepped up to the plate to defend freedom. Perhaps now DA Vance will recognize that this lawsuit is not going away and come to his senses instead of continuing to waste taxpayer resources victimizing law-abiding citizens who simply possess a practical tool (a common pocketknife), and the honest retailers who sell these tools.”
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