(January 22, 2001) – New York Assemblyperson McLaughlin and others introduced a “knife-possession” bill that concerns AKTI.
Here is the summary from StateNet, the legislative monitoring service employed by AKTI….
NY A 2314
AUTHOR: McLaughlin et al
SUMMARY: Establishes crime of criminal possession of a weapon in the 5th degree for unlawfully
carrying a knife with a blade of 4 inches or more in length; makes such a crime a class B misdemeanor;
excludes peace officers, boy scouts or girl scouts, soldiers or those people hunting, fishing or picnicking.
STATUS: 01/22/2001 INTRODUCED. 01/22/2001 To ASSEMBLY Committee on CODES.
This bill concerns the American Knife and Tool Institute (AKTI) because it deals with “possession” of a certain class of knife based on blade length. While it purports to exempt otherwise law-abiding sportsmen and other recreational outdoor users, such exemptions often end up putting the burden of proof of legitimate possession on the knife owner. For example, an over-zealous police officer or prosecutor might decide that a person carrying a four-inch knife would have to prove that she or he was on a hunting trip during a legal season and in possession of a hunting license; or carrying a fishing pole, bait, and a fishing license; or perhaps even carrying a picnic basket filled with sandwiches.
The bill has been monitored by AKTI since its introduction. And it was specifically discussed at the February 2001 meeting of the AKTI Board of Regents. Here is the summary (from the minutes) of the report provided by AKTI Regent, Walter Gardiner, president of Imperial Schrade Corporation of New York….
“New York: Gardiner reported on New York Assembly Bill 2314 which would make possession of any knife with a length of 4 inches illegal. He explained that the Assembly is a solid Democratic group who raise knife-related issues every year and needs to be carefully monitored. However, a bill must pass both the Assembly and the Senate in New York to become law. There is a strong sportsman’s lobby group with strong ties to the State Senators. Sportsman groups and AKTI members will stay in close contact with these State Senators because they are currently our best line of defense against anti-knife and anti- industry legislation. Gardiner’s recommendation at each state level is to spend time getting acquainted with state representatives to help prevent anti-industry legislation from being passed. It is much more difficult to change current law than to prevent new laws from being introduced and enacted.”
As of September 2001, the bill is still in committee and it appears it will die there this session.