Knife Rights Update on the Freddie Gray Knife Arrest

Freddie Gray Falsely Arrested on Illegal Knife Charge.

Freddie Gray
Freddie Gray

Gilbert, AZ –-( In the case of the arrest on a knife charge and subsequent death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged that Freddie Gray was falsely arrested and that the knife in his pocket was not an illegal switchblade.

Mosby is filing murder charges against one officer while others are being charged with crimes including manslaughter and assault.

According to news reports and court documents, Freddie Gray was arrested after a police officer supposedly found a “switchblade” in his pocket. But, the court documents (click to review) reveal something else: “The officer noticed a knife clipped to the inside of his front right pants pocket. The defendant was arrested without force or incident,” the documents say. “The knife was recovered by this officer and found to be a spring-assisted, one-hand-operated knife.” (Emphasis added.) Note that the officer did not refer to the knife as a “switchblade.”

Maryland law prohibits concealed carry of switchblades, but open carry and possession are not illegal. The court documents state that the knife was visibly clipped to Gray’s pocket. Therefore, it was not concealed, and accordingly not illegal, even if it had been a switchblade. But, it clearly wasn’t even a switchblade according to the court documents — it was an assisted-opening knife (meaning that the blade had to be opened manually part way before the spring assist was engaged and opened it the rest of the way).

Maryland does not have knife law preemption, so municipalities such as Baltimore are allowed to fabricate laws more restrictive than the state itself. Baltimore’s city code prohibits the sale, carry or possession of “any knife with an automatic spring or other device for opening and/or closing the blade, commonly known as a switch-blade knife.” While it might be possible in theory to interpret that unusual definition of “switch-blade” to include assisted-opening knives, such an interpretation would conflict with virtually all other switchblade definitions throughout the country. Additionally, the court documents show that the arresting officer clearly knew it was not a switchblade; the officer easily could have referred to it as a switchblade instead of accurately describing it as a “spring-assisted, one-hand-operated knife.”

While it is theoretically possible that without the presence of a knife in his pocket, Gray might have been arrested on some other trumped-up charge, it is clear that the presence of a knife was used as the actual basis for the arrest, and the practice has unfortunately become a common one.

Thousands of law-abiding citizens are regularly harassed and arrested for nothing more than carrying this basic tool, and that is unacceptable. Knife Rights is committed to forging a Sharper Future by passing knife law preemption and removing all restrictions on the lawful carry of knives. Those who misuse any tool (knife or otherwise) in the commission of a crime should be severely punished, but law-abiding citizens who possess knives should be left alone.

About Knife Rights
Knife Rights ( is rewriting knife law in America, aggressively fighting for a Sharper Future™ for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice to influence public policy. Knife Rights promotes legislation that eliminates irrational restrictions on knife possession and opposes anti-knife legislation, as well as defending knife owner civil rights ion the courts. In the past six years, Knife Rights has passed pro-knife legislation in 13 states and prevented anti-knife legislation in four states. Knife Rights is also the lead plaintiff in a federal civil rights lawsuit against New York City’s persecution of knife owners.

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It was on Fox news that a police source leaked the info about the hand to hand transaction and has not been made public record as the case is still under investigation. Those passing judgement on probable cause etc. might want to wait until all the facts are in. Jumping to conclusions in Ferguson proved to be problematic with the hands up don’t shoot false narrative. Unfortunately there will always be jumping to conclusions by those who don’t understand the legal process that prohibits releasing all information due to possibility of jeopardizing the investigation.


Gray was a known drug dealer.The police witnessed the hand to hand transaction and Gray went rabid on them. That gave LE all the PC they needed to search him and arrest him for the knife. The visable switchblade knife is really a moot point.The police did their job by the book and will walk ! Africans need to learn to obey the law ! That will never happen because its always the White Mans fault !

Grey Beard

The documents referenced in this article are public record Court Documents. The Report on the incident and arrest prepared by the Officer is typically NOT public record and as such would not be available to post in public. The “probable cause” information had to be included in that Officer’s report and would be brought out at, typically, the first Court hearing which, in this case, we will not have.

LA Davis

Thanks Grey Beard. If as youhave stated the “probable cause” information “is typically NOT public record” there is no way for Mike to have a valid or rather public record source for his assertion that, “…The officers saw Mr. Gray (a known drug dealer) on a corner known for drug sales. He engaged in a hand to hand transaction with another individual and then ran away when he saw the police officers approaching…” and “…that qualifies as probable cause for an arrest.” If it is as you have stated then Mike is clearly making a statement of his own conjecture… Read more »

LA Davis

Dear “Mike”: I just read the charging document available at the link in this article. I must have missed the part that said “officers saw Mr. Gray (a known drug dealer) on a corner known for drug sales. He engaged in a hand to hand transaction …” Could you direct us to the source of your information please. Also, absent any evidence on the person of Mr. Gray what would have been the cause for his arrest? Since of course the other person alleged to have been observed in the “hand to hand” transaction was neither chased or apprehended, nor… Read more »

Kevin McGonigal

In NJ virtually ANY knife, even a short bladed Swiss Army knife, is construed as a weapon unless the possessor can demonstrate a “need” for it to be in his possession. That opens up just about anybody for an arrest..


Screw NJ !


Also wouldn’t Gray have been banned from carrying a knife since he was a convicted felon? Hence the knife would be illegal and his arrest legal.


The folks at “knife rights” may want to consider learning a few things about the laws of arrest, search and siezure before accusing the police of false arrest on “trumped up charges”. The officers saw Mr. Gray (a known drug dealer) on a corner known for drug sales. He engaged in a hand to hand transaction with another individual and then ran away when he saw the police officers approaching. That clearly qualifies as reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. Reasonable suspicion justifies a brief detention to conduct a brief investigation. While attempting to investigate that crime, Mr.… Read more »


Amen to the blessing of our LEOs! But remember that George Orwell stated, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Nobody in Baltimore would have squawked if Freddy had been white, or Asian, or maybe even Native American…but in our socialist government’s eyes, blacks and Hispanics have special rights not available to others.

Nick D

Can you please post the link to where this information about a “hand to hand transaction” can be found.
I live in Baltimore and have been following this case closely and you are the first person to report having information about this. No tv or radio station is reporting this. I cant find it in any of the newspapers or internet post. I even called a local radio show hosted by the former Chief of Police and he said on the air that he hasnt heard of this. Please tell us where you got this information.


Everything you’ve written is a lie. It’s unsupported by the evidence. The arrest report makes no mention of “known drug dealer” let alone the witnessing of a hand-to-hand exchange.

Quit peddling falsehoods.


What, a Black Man Running down the Sidewalk in Downtown Baltimore in Broad Daylight. How Strange of a Sighting can that BE. Top it of with a Hidden (Non Visible) Switch Blade. Yeah, Probable Cause, too WHAT.