As Doug Ritter, chairman of Knife Rights, likes to say, they are the second front in the battle for the Second Amendment. At the 2010 Gun Rights Policy Conference he discussed the plans of his organization to eventually sue the City of New York and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. over NYC’s vague knife laws.
The second front was opened today with a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The attorney of record is David Jensen who some may be familiar with from his work for the Second Amendment Foundation. Below is Knife Rights’ release announcing the lawsuit.
Knife Rights Sues New York City
Knife Rights today filed a federal civil rights lawsuit to stop New York City from arresting law-abiding citizens carrying common pocket knives.
The lawsuit challenges New York State law on “gravity knives” and “switchblades,” and New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s attempt to mischaracterize the most widely-owned pocket knives in America as contraband. The case seeks a judicial determination that the law is unconstitutionally vague as applied to these ordinary pocket knives.
“District Attorney Vance is trying to advance his political career by exploiting a vague state law to demonize common pocket knives,” said Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter. “In the process, hundreds of law abiding knife owners are being arrested and Vance has extracted nearly $2 million from retailers to avoid prosecution on bogus charges. This lawsuit intends to put a stop to Vance’s abusive and unconscionable civil rights violations.”
“One-hand opening pocket knives are legal tools, used and carried every day by millions of law-abiding citizens for work, recreation and self-defense,” said Ritter. “Shame on D.A. Vance for demonizing common tools and turning honest citizens into criminals for purely political ends.”
If you are a retailer or individual who has been targeted for the sale or possession of so-called illegal knives (one-hand opening and assisted opening knives inappropriately claimed to be gravity knives or switchblades), we urge you to immediately contact Knife Rights at: email nycity@KnifeRights.org or call toll-free: 1-866-889-6268.
Joining Knife Rights as plaintiffs are two private citizens, John Copeland, an internationally acclaimed artist, and Pedro Perez, an artist and fine art dealer, both New York City residents. The defendants are New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., the New York State Attorney General, and the City of New York. Knife Rights is represented by attorney David Jensen. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Knife Rights is supported in this lawsuit by the Knife Rights Foundation Sharper Future Legal Fund™ whose major donors include at Platinum level: Benchmade Knife Co., Blue Ridge Knives, Buck Knives, Columbia River Knife & Tool, Taylor Brands and United Cutlery; Silver level: KnifeWorks.com and Wenger NA; Titanium level: Smokey Mountain Knife Works; Bronze level: Ethan Becker and KA-BAR Knives. Please support those who support your knife rights.
A copy of the complaint can be found here.