U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “[T]he gravity knife statute is unconstitutionally vague,” Judge Paul A. Crotty of the United State District Court, Southern District of New York, wrote in an opinion and order filed March 27. “The Clerk of Court is directed to…enter judgment in favor of the Plaintiff…and close the case.”
That case is Joseph Cracco, Plaintiff, vs. Cyrus Vance Jr., Defendant, in his official capacity as District Attorney for the County of New York. Vance, born into a family of elite political privilege, is a longtime opponent of the right to keep and bear arms who says national concealed carry reciprocity “is supported, I’m sure, by ISIS.”
So what is Vance actually doing about ISIS?
“I’m concerned about a travel ban on Muslim countries,” he has claimed, while disingenuously “justifying” his demands to disarm Americans and insisting “We should be having a gun debate right now, in America.”
“I’m not a politician. I’m a prosecutor,” he protests, leaving unsaid why his office was “probed for dropping cases after lawyers made big donations” to his election campaign.
The gravity knife edict is every bit as ludicrous as Vance’s ISIS smear, especially as applied, which Reason points out is enforced “almost exclusively in New York City and nowhere else in the state”:
“A 2014 Village Voice investigation found that between 2003 and 2013, the NYPD made 60,000 arrests for alleged gravity knife possession. Eighty-six percent of those arrested were black or Hispanic.”
That's curious because New York Democrats fight like hell to import more gang members like MS-13, who promise to reward them with even more blood to dance in and exploit. But it's easier to harass productive citizens who have no intention of breaking any laws, and doing so with subjective “tests” that are so vague and arbitrarily applied that compliance becomes a crap shoot.
It's “safer” that way, even when it turns out the hapless, disarmed citizenry did nothing wrong.
“The Village Voice reported in 2015 that New York City paid out nearly $350,000 in malicious prosecution settlements involving gravity knives over the previous five years,” that article elaborates. “In Cracco's case, he was returning home after work with his knife clipped to his pants pocket when he was stopped by NYPD officers … Cracco alleges that the officer who arrested him tried three or four times to flick open his pocket knife before finally succeeding.”
These guys really are jealous of their “Only Ones” status. Their interest is in maintaining an unchallengeable monopoly of violence, with Policemen's Benevolent Association head Patrick Lynch threatening:
“We need to make it clear that if someone lifts even a finger against a police officer, their life could be on the line.”
That hardly bodes well for tolerance for gravity knives, and the March 27 decision is based on procedure rather than “shall not be infringed.”
“The Court recognized that the District Attorney must have discretion to prosecute or not to prosecute criminal matters,” Judge Crotty explained before announcing his decision. “The combination here, however, of a statute that does not specify how Cracco can identify a gravity knife and a practice of prosecuting possession of gravity knives in an unclear and inconsistent manner provides police and prosecutors ‘virtually unlimited’ or ‘unfettered’ discretion to enforce the gravity knife statue.”
So look for the state to reword the infringement, not to stop infringing. Nonetheless, it’s a significant win inasmuch as this is the third time recently that New York disarmament laws have been ruled unconstitutional.
James Maloney, the attorney who won the gravity knife ruling, was also the lawyer who got New York’s nunchaku ban struck down as unconstitutional in December. And a similar ruling regarding New York’s ban on “electronic dart guns” and “electronic stun guns” was won in March by attorneys Alan Beck and Stephen Stamboulieh.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.