To change or not to change?
State Senator Marty Golden along with Mayor Bill de Blasio and law enforcement union leaders are urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to veto a legislation which seeks to change the definitions of a switchblade knife and a gravity knife.
The new bill asks to clarify the current definitions in an attempt to prevent arrests of innocent people in possession of the knives as the vast majority of the 60,000 New Yorkers arrested for possession of these knives between 2003 and 2013 had no criminal intent and furthermore didn’t know it was illegal to carry them.
“The current definitions of a switchblade knife and a gravity knife are vague and dependent on an outdated understanding of knives used as weapons and knives that are used as tools,” the bill stated.
However, Golden argued that the city experienced a heightened number of knife assaults this year and if the legislation becomes law, it will “further amplify the danger” of knives on the streets.
“Our uniformed officers are threatened, encounter and unfortunately at times injured by knife violence,” he said.
Moreover, Golden said the legislation challenges the New York Police Department’s recently established Operation Cutting Edge initiative, which focuses on knife-attacks.
“I believe strongly that the City and State must work together to establish a more appropriate solution to this issue that will maintain safety of all as the priority,” he added.