There may be some hope for New York yet. The State Senate just passed the Knife Rights sponsored bill that stops New York City’s switchblade and gravity knife arrests by a vote of 61-0! The State Assembly had previously passed the bill by a vote of 99-12. The bill now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) for his signature.
From Knife Rights:
NY Senate Passes Bill to Stop Bogus NYC Gravity Knife Arrests
Next to Governor Cuomo
Knife Rights’ Gravity Knife and Switchblade Reform Bill, S6483-A/A9042-A,
passed the New York Senate today on a unanimous vote of 61-0. Knife
Rights’ Director of Legislative affairs, Todd Rathner, has spent many
weeks on the ground in Albany this session working closely with our
friends there to shepherd this bill through politically treacherous
territory. All that extraordinary personal attention has paid off with
this unanimous vote. The Assembly previously passed this bill 99-12.
However, it is not over yet. S6483-A/A9042-A still needs to be
signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Governor will not officially
receive the bill for his consideration until it is transmitted.
Transmission of the bill could take a few weeks, so please be patient
with the process. When the time is ripe, we’ll ask for your help, but
until then there’s no benefit to contacting the Governor about this
Knife Rights would like to thank the following people who
played a key role in helping to get this legislation through the
legislature. Assembly Member Dan Quart (D) our primary sponsor in the
Assembly, Senator Diane Savino (D) our primary sponsor in the Senate,
Senator Michael Nozzolio (R) who made passing this bill a priority this
session and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R) whose staff worked
closely with us to get the bill to the floor for a final vote.
Knife Rights would also like to acknowledge the invaluable
assistance and support of The Legal Aid Society of New York, as well as
the many other organizations that supported this bill. We’d also like to
thank all of you who called or emailed Leader Flannigan asking for a
vote on this bill. Your calls and emails make a difference.
S6483-A/A9042-A add clarifying bias-toward closure exclusions
to the state switchblade and gravity knife definitions, similar to that
included in the revision to the Federal Switchblade Act that Knife
Rights helped pass in 2009. This clarifying exclusion should prevent the
bogus Gravity Knife arrests and prosecutions of honest law-abiding
individuals in New York City who are carrying common folding knives,
tools that are legal to carry everywhere else in the U.S.
Neither Gravity Knives nor Switchblades have a bias towards
closure found in common folding knives to keep the blade safely closed
in the pocket. Only in New York City has the NYPD and District Attorney
Cyrus Vance, Jr. abused the states’ gravity knife law to prosecute those
carrying simple pocket knives by claiming they are illegal Gravity
The City’s Village Voice newspaper found two years ago that
there had been as many as 60,000 gravity-knife prosecutions over the
past decade! Hundreds of innocent pocket knife carriers are being
arrested every week! You can read the Village Voice article at: http://bit.ly/1MiJbvv
Knife Rights’ Federal Civil Rights lawsuit against New York City and
District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. over these unconstitutional arrests
and prosecutions continues with oral argument scheduled for tomorrow,
June 16, which will be just over five years since the lawsuit was filed.
The trial continues because until, and only if, Governor Cuomo signs
the bill does the case become moot. The public is welcome to attend the
oral argument, click here for more information about attending.