Federal Court Upholds Bogus NYC “Stop & Flick” Arrests – Knife Rights to Appeal

Fed. Court Upholds Bogus NYC "Stop & Flick" Arrests - Appeal to Follow
Fed. Court Upholds Bogus NYC “Stop & Flick” Arrests – Knife Rights to Appeal

KnifeRights.org
KnifeRights.org

Gilbert, AZ -Ammoland.com)- Bogus “Stop and Flick” Arrests to Continue in NYC – for Now. Federal Court Upholds Unconstitutional and Discriminatory Arrests. Knife Rights Will Appeal Tortured Decision

Last Friday U.S. District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled in favor of New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. in Knife Rights' long-running federal civil rights case challenging the City's policy of treating any locking blade folding knife that can be “flicked” open as a prohibited gravity knife.

In a tortured 35-page decision, the Court fundamentally re-characterized the case in a way that did not reflect the case presented. The Court disregarded key evidence and ignored the basic argument in the lawsuit that a person has no way of knowing if he possesses a knife that could result in arrest and prosecution. That is the central issue in Plaintiff's constitutional Void for Vagueness claim. Assistant DA Dan Rather, Jr. even admitted at trial that a knife that cannot be “flicked” open by the purchaser at the time of lawful purchase can suddenly transform into an illegal gravity knife two steps out the door if an NYPD officer is able to “flick” it open.

Despite that damning testimony that proves that the City's so-called “wrist flick” test is subjective, variable, and thus unconstitutionally vague, as well as all the other evidence presented by the Plaintiffs in the case, the Court avoided dealing with this key point by essentially ignoring Plaintiff's claim. Instead, the Court bought into the City's and DA's egregious argument that the claim that the Plaintiffs could not purchase another knife without risking arrest again was hypothetical, when it is not at all. It is a real risk that the Plaintiffs face, as well as anyone else, in buying or carrying a common folding knife in New York City.Plaintiffs will appeal this decision that upholds an unconstitutional policy.

With this decision, Judge Forrest has doomed thousands more to arrest and prosecution for carrying common pocket knives that won't get someone arrested virtually anywhere except in New York City. Read the decision at: www.KnifeRights.org/NYC_Decision_01272017.pdf It is not uncommon for lower courts, especially in the Northeast, to uphold questionable and constitutionally problematic laws involving knives and firearms. As such, it is not all that surprising that the Court delivered this decision. The real battle almost always takes place in the appellate courts, which is where this case is headed now, and always was, regardless of this lower court's decision.

Until Plaintiffs win on appeal, those living in or visiting New York City and carrying common folding knives with a locking blade will continue to be needlessly harassed, imprisoned and prosecuted by the City's “stop and flick” follow-up to the infamous “stop and frisk” policy previously ruled unconstitutional.

All but a handful of those trumpeted stop and frisk “illegal weapon” arrests and seizures involved these same common folding knives carried and used by millions of Americans everyday at home, work and while recreating. Research by the Legal Aid Society and The Village Voice concluded that over 85% of the over 60,000 persons that are estimated to have been arrested and prosecuted for carrying these common folding knives in the past 12 years are minorities — a glaringly discriminatory arrest policy. Even New York's Governor, while recently vetoing for his own politically-inspired motivations Knife Rights' legislation that passed overwhelmingly, and which would have resolved this issue, called these arrests “absurd.”

Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, “we knew when we started this lawsuit that it would be a long road to justice and we are prepared to see it through. We will carry on seeking justice and the restoration of sanity to New York knife law and we are looking forward to presenting the appeal before the Second Circuit.”

The lawsuit challenges New York City's and District Attorney Vance's attempt to criminalize as contraband the most widely-owned pocket knives in America — locking blade folding knives — under state law prohibiting gravity knives. The case seeks a judicial determination that the New York State law regarding gravity knives is unconstitutionally vague as applied by NYC and the DA to these common folding knives (which are distinct from gravity knives because of their bias towards closure). Knife Rights' lawsuit intends to stop NYC law enforcement and officials from abusing this unconstitutionally vague state law to make bogus arrests of law-abiding citizens carrying common pocket knives, and from coercing knife retailers into making huge payments to avoid prosecution.

Meanwhile, Knife Rights and the broad coalition of organizations opposing the City's gravity knife policy continue to work with New York Assemblyman Dan Quart and Senator Diane Savino on a legislative solution to the problem. Look for a new bill to be filed shortly.

WARNING_2_500w.jpg
NOT in New York City

WARNING: New York City has interpreted the state law against gravity knives such that if an officer can “wrist flick” the knife blade open, or alleges that the knife might be able to be opened in such a manner, and the knife blade locks open, that knife is an illegal gravity knife, even if you cannot do so. NYC takes this position even if it requires multiple tries and use of exaggerated arm thrust or motion. Using this interpretation, most any locking blade folding knife might be deemed an illegal gravity knife.

Note also that New York City administrative code has an under-4-inch blade length limit and requires knives be carried FULLY concealed. Knife Rights suggests that you never carry your knife clipped to your pocket in New York City as it is illegally “not concealed” and will likely result in a stop by NYPD, resulting ina violation or arrest. Even when covered by a jacket, simply moving the jacket aside to get to a wallet has been enough to get folks a violation or arrested. Always ensure your knife is completely concealed at all times, including not “printing” on the outside of your clothing. In addition, be extremely circumspect about using a knife for any purpose in a public setting


Knife Rights' fight against New York City's assault on pocket knife owners and our constitutionally protected rights continues. We are fighting the largest city in America and an injustice that strikes at the heart of our freedoms on many levels. The City and DA Vance have virtually unlimited taxpayer funding to oppose us; we need your support to stay in this fight and prevail in the end. Please support this lawsuit with a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE charitable contribution to the Knife Rights Foundation.

About Knife Rights
Knife Rights (www.KnifeRights.org) is America's grassroots knife owners organization, forging a Sharper Future™ for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice to influence public policy. In doing so, Knife Rights is rewriting knife law in America™. In the past seven years, Knife Rights has passed pro-knife legislation repealing knife bans in 15 states and stopped anti-knife legislation in 6 states. Knife Rights also leads a federal civil rights lawsuit against New York City and the New York District Attorney over their persecution of knife owners.

Contact: Doug Ritter
[email protected]
602-476-2702

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Don LawlisJohnnymoIdadhoM ReynaRick Recent comment authors
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Don Lawlis
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Don Lawlis

If there are any real taxpayers left there, move. Leave those leftist bastards without any resources, then let’s see how progressive they are. Seriously, if there are any true conservatives left there after all the b.s., you’re crazy for staying and paying for all of their leftist crap. Same with Chicago & Kalifornya. Sorry, but I think it’s time to cut bait and run. Come to somewhere in fly-over country, where you’ll find like minded patriots who will welcome you with open arms. Then after they’re broke and starving, go back and rebuild

Johnnymo
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Johnnymo

So crime is so low now in NYC that the local coppers go around and jack up people who they think have knives on them ? Get real learn your job and put the effort where it is needed with serious crimes and quality of life issues !

Idadho
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Idadho

Again, Ritter writes from ‘in the know’ making it difficult to fully understand how the judge made her decision. Removing the drama and hyperbole would make it easier to understand what happened. I understand that reading a 35 page decision can be torture but reading this simple report should not be torture. Has anybody considered finding a manufacturer who can make look alike clip knives that have a comb or screw driver tip but look just like a knife when clipped to a pocket ? There are already look alike combs like the switch blade folding comb ? “Is that… Read more »

M Reyna
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M Reyna

It’s unfortunate the New York police don’t spend their
Time better than to see who is carrying a knife that
Might flick open. What a joke, but costly to one who
Gets caught with a standard carry knife. No wonder
That place always gets attacked, cops are always
Looking at the wrong people.

Rick
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Rick

I have a hard time getting my head wrapped around knives being illegal to carry in the USA. And even more bizarre New York has a “flick wrist” law. My dad gave me my first pocket knife when I was about five years old and I would clean dead minnows with it or whittle sticks. Now I am in my fifties and I have have being carrying a utility knife like the one showed in the picture it seems like forever. Here in Missouri it seems like a whole different country. Keep fighting the good fight New Yorkers!

Jim S
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Jim S

I dont understand law enforcement officers who subject people to this level of harassment. There are cases where someone is a threat and you can use arrest as a way of stopping the conflict, but to go after otherwise normal citizens for a dumb knife is childish. Im sorry for those LEO’s, they should agree not to enforce and walk away as a citizen should.

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

I just use a fully automated spring blade knife. It is an ATS 34 steel by GT Knives, Inc. When Congress passed the Gun Control Act, in fear of Bobby Seals and his Black Panthers, Congress, also, passed the Omnibus Crime Act of 1968. In that Act of Congress, they banned brass knuckles, saps, switchblades and other good toys. Typically, Congress excluded government agents because Congress intended that no matter what happened to the rest of the population, they (Congress) were going to stay alive and in charge. I think that there is a valuable lesson in that. Finally, the… Read more »

Jim Macklin
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Jim Macklin

Lots of technique is involved in flicking a knife open. Also physical health is a part of te task. Arthritis or simple finger or wrist strength is a big factor. When held by the handle the fingers must not block the blade. If the blade is mounted so loosely that it wobbles, the knife is probably dangerous. If a person has enough strength and the knife is held by the blade, the handle is heavy enough to lever the knife open. But many knives don’t have enough blade to hold with enough retention to open the kinife without dropping it.… Read more »