On this Thanksgiving, one New York citizen is giving thanks to Knife Rights Foundation for a holiday without the threat of a year in jail hanging over his head.
The New Yorker, whose name is being withheld to prevent possible harassment, said, “words cannot express my thanks to Knife Rights Foundation for coming to my aid and helping me gain a measure of justice when things looked pretty bleak for me.”
“Knife Rights is pleased that our legal team’s first foray against New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is resulting in dismissal of charges against a wrongly accused citizen,” said Knife Rights Foundation chairman Doug Ritter.
Charges against the defendant, who was carrying a Gerber one-hand opening pocketknife used daily in his work, were resolved with an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD) in the first case in which Knife Rights Foundation lent its assistance. This citizen originally faced up to one year in jail and a criminal record which could have jeopardized his professional license and livelihood. Until the Knife Rights legal team became involved in his defense, an ACD had not been offered, even though it had been sought. After Knife Rights’ research and legal arguments were stated in an extensive brief, the DA offered the ACD rather than proceed with prosecution of the case. A typical ACD results in dismissal of a case after passage of a brief period of time and satisfaction of certain conditions (often a brief period of community service), and that was the result in this first case.
Knife Rights Foundation denounces the DA’s continuing expenditure of scarce time and taxpayer dollars to prosecute innocent citizens carrying perfectly legal pocketknives. “Police and prosecutors ought to be focused on real criminals who threaten the safety and livelihood of hardworking taxpayers,” said Ritter.
Due to their practicality and added safety, one-hand opening pocketknives represent 80% of the pocketknives sold in America today and were specifically excluded from being considered a gravity knife or switchblade by a bipartisan act of Congress in 2009. Ritter also noted that “New York’s statutes prohibiting gravity knives and switchblades clearly do not cover these popular tools.” A recent ruling by a Federal District Court in New York made this clear and pointed out that arrests for mere possession of such knives would have the unintended consequence of “transform[ing] thousands of honest mechanics into criminals, subject to arrest at the whim of any police officer” (United States v Irizzary).
“At least through the efforts of Knife Rights, this honest citizen will not have a criminal record to besmirch his good name and can enjoy a truly thankful Thanksgiving with his friends and family.”
“Clearly, we’d prefer to take a case to trial where we feel confident we will win on merit. Just as clearly, the DA doesn’t want to us to establish clear legal precedent and the ACD was tantamount to an admission that he had no real case against the defendant, just as he hasn’t a case against the thousands of honest citizens that the police are wrongfully arresting for carrying lawful pocketknives,” said Ritter.
Sooner or later, however, the legal issue is going to be heard by a court and the DA’s perversion of New York law and persecution of innocent citizens, along with his waste of taxpayers’ funds, will end. Knife Rights Foundation is expanding its efforts to aid law-abiding citizens and businesses caught up in the DA Vance’s unfortunate persecution of these lawful tools.
Knife Rights Foundation is available to assist honest citizens or businesses targeted in DA Vance’s illegitimate effort to proscribe perfectly legal pocketknives. Those arrested for possession of a so-called “illegal knife” in New York can contact Knife Rights at nycity@KnifeRights.org or 866-889-6268.