“Dirk” knife protected by Second Amendment
(December 20, 2014) – In an opinion that will hopefully resonate in other cases and in other states, the State of Connecticut in State v. DeCiccio reversed the 2011 conviction of a military veteran who was charged with weapons violations after police found war memorabilia (including a dirk knife and police baton) in his vehicle following a traffic accident.
A unanimous decision by the seven Connecticut Supreme Court justices ruled that the Second Amendment protects possessing a dirk knife and police baton in a home and, Connecticut’s statute prohibiting transporting of these “weapons” in a vehicle infringes on that Constitutional right.
Jason DeCiccio, veteran and active National Guard member, was involved in the accident while traveling from his mother’s house in Connecticut to a new residence in Massachusetts. He was transported to a hospital and treated for a head injury and PTSD. Police searched DeCiccio’s Jeep Wrangler and found an expandable police baton, two machetes, a sword and two types of knives – items DeCiccio’s said were mementos from his overseas tours of service that he was transporting to his new home.
Citing both the Heller and McDonald decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed that individual Americans have the right to keep and bear arms, the Connecticut Supreme Court said: “Well after the nation’s founding, knives continued to be an important tool for many American soldiers. During World War II, American soldiers, sailors, and airmen wanted and purchased fixed blade knives, often of considerable dimensions. At least in some units, soldiers were ‘authorized an M3 trench knife, but many carried a favorite hunting knife.’”
“We agree with the defendant that, under Heller, the dirk knife that he was transporting to his new residence falls within the terms ‘arms’ for purposes of the Second Amendment.”
Unfortunately, Mr. DeCiccio served 15 months plus probation for the conviction. The American Knife & Tool Institute applauds Jason DeCiccio, and his counsel Michael Zariphes, for challenging restrictive knife laws and helping us ensure that Americans can own and use the knife of their choice!