Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New York Senate Unanimously Passes New York Knife Reform Bill- Will the Governor Sign It?

New York Senate Unanimously Passes Bill to Stop Unconstitutional Arrests in NYC - But, Will Governor Sign it?

Is the third time the charm? The New York State Senate has unanimously passed A5944, in a floor vote that substituted the already unanimously passed companion Assembly bill for S4863. These Gravity Knife Ban Repeal bills were sponsored by our longtime allies Assemblyman Dan Quart and Senator Diane Savino. This is yet another "stab" by our friends in the NY legislature to address the bogus arrests and prosecutions on unconstitutionally vague Gravity Knife charges of knife owners carrying common folding knives in New York City. Governor Cuomo has twice vetoed similar bills.

A5944 would remove "gravity knife" from all New York criminal statutes, while leaving the existing definition of a Gravity Knife intact. While Cuomo admitted in one veto message that, "[New York City's] interpretation of the "gravity knife" has resulted in a definition that is both amorphous, subject to abuse and could include nearly any pocket knife," it didn't stop him from vetoing both previously overwhelmingly passed bills.

While the legislature attempts again to address this issue, in New York City the arrests continue, even after a lower court ruled the arrest unconstitutional in very limited circumstances.

Gov. Cuomo will now have another opportunity to do the right thing and sign or allow this unanimously passed bill to become law without his signature. There is no set timetable for when the bill will be transmitted to the governor. He will have 10 days to act once it is transmitted.

Knife Rights will let you know when this bill is transmitted to Gov. Cuomo and it's time to contact him to ask him to sign this bill

Meanwhile, Knife Rights' federal civil rights case that is attempting to rid the city entirely of its infamous "wrist flick test" is on petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. Three strong amicus briefs have been filed and the Court directed the City and DA Vance to respond to plaintiff's petition for Writ of Certiorari. Those briefs were filed late yesterday (May 13) and we will send out a News Slice eBlast shortly as soon as we have reviewed them. We have until the 28th to file a response to NYC's and DA's briefs. That would be expected to put us on schedule for a June conference where the Justices will decide whether or not to grant the petition and hear the case.