Gravity knives are legal in New York due to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing a bill in late May repealing the state’s gravity knife ban, but the win comes with several label warnings.
For instance, gravity knives—or any knife, for that matter—with blades 4 inches or longer remain illegal in New York City. Also, a recent state case has redefined switchblade to include assisted openers. Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who strongly opposed the repeal of the gravity knife ban, reportedly said he would not stop the arrests and prosecutions of people who carry what are basically common folding knives.
Despite the ban’s repeal and the efforts of such common-sense knife organizations as Knife Rights and AKTI, the current New York state of mind remains as it has been for quite some time: one big anti-knife muddle.
After Nine Years, It's Still Not Over
“After nine years of fighting, it is a relief to close the book on this extraordinary abuse of authority by a corrupt system that has terrorized over 70,000 honest, law-abiding people, disproportionately minorities, for simply carrying a common tool used daily in their lives,” Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said.
As cited in Cuomo’s signing statement, it didn’t hurt that in another recent case a New York federal judge issued a very narrow ruling saying that NYC’s “wrist flick” test was unconstitutional, though in limited circumstances that did not substantially impact the ability of the city and DA to continue their arrests and prosecutions. Before the federal judge’s ruling, the wrist flick test had been used by the courts to determine whether a knife was a gravity knife.
If You Live In or Travel to New York…
Despite the repeal of the gravity knife ban, New York remains a minefield of knife restrictions. As a result, Knife Rights suggests that you never carry a knife in New York City with a blade 4 inches or longer, nor carry your knife clipped to your pocket.
If you plan to carry a pocket-clip folder there, Knife Rights suggests you remove the clip so you don’t inadvertently attach the knife to your pocket after use. Always ensure your knife is completely concealed at all times, including not “printing” on the outside of your clothing.
In addition, be extremely cautious about using a knife for any purpose in a public setting.
The Latest: “Undetectable Knives” Now Illegal In New York
As Knife Rights reported, Gov. Cuomo recently signed into law a ban on “undetectable knives.” What counts as “undetectable?”
From Knife Rights:
The definition of an “undetectable knife” is: “any knife or other instrument, which does not utilize materials that are detectable by a metal detector…that is capable of ready use as a stabbing or cutting weapon and was commercially manufactured to be used as a weapon” (emphasis ours).
This leaves plenty of room for the same kind of overreach that made the “gravity knife” ban such a disaster:
The new law is unlikely to accomplish anything worthwhile, but rather will give law enforcement and prosecutors another way to harass what will almost always be innocent victims of another poorly conceived and unnecessary knife ban.
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