New York City Settles with Knife Owner for $7,500

Law Shield is pleased to report that The City of New York has agreed to pay $7,500 to a falsely arrested knife owner, according to a release from Knife Rights, which supported the case.

According to the Knife Rights release, “The embarrassing settlement shows that the city would rather pay than try to justify its illegal conduct after police declared his knife an illegal ‘gravity knife’ even though the blade did not lock open. The knife owner (a sculptor who uses a knife for his work) was arrested, handcuffed, booked, and placed in a holding cell like a common criminal.”

“New York City’s outrageous persecution of those with common pocket knives must end. This is just one of thousands of similar outrageous excesses by the City and DA. Knife Rights will continue to fight these unconstitutional abuses by the City until we win,” said Doug Ritter, chairman of Knife Rights.

The settlement results from the mistreatment of law-abiding knife owner Jonathan W. (name withheld at his request). Jonathan was carrying a Spyderco UK Pen Knife with a non-locking blade in New York City when he was arrested for possession of an illegal “gravity knife.” After considerable effort the charges in the case were dismissed and Knife Rights then referred Jonathan to attorney Richard Holzberg of Ernest Holzberg and Associates. Holszberg recently obtained a settlement of $7,500 for Jonathan’s wrongful arrest, incarceration and malicious prosecution for carrying a pocket knife that was New York City legal.

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. NYC takes this position even if it requires multiple tries and use of exaggerated arm thrust or motion. Using this interpretation, most lockblade knives might be deemed an illegal gravity knife. Note also that New York City administrative code has an under-4-inch length limit and requires knives be carried concealed.

If you’re visiting NYC, Law Shield recommends that you never carry your knife clipped to your pocket, even when covered by a jacket. Always ensure your knife is completely concealed at all times, including not “printing” on the outside of your clothing. Also, be circumspect about using a knife for any purpose in a public setting.

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