NYC Knife Regulations

Joined
Jan 22, 1999
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Someone just asked me what can be legally carried in NYC. As a native New Yorker who has carried for longer than I care to remember, I should know but I don't.

I've heard, anecdotally, that a folder <= 4" should be OK. Can anyone quote chapter & verse on what is allowed & what is not? Thanks.

Brian
 
I wrote to the District Attorney's office with that same question in 1991. This is what they sent. It may have changed by now.
Public Safety, Chap 1, Historical Note Article 10-133 section B
It shall be unlawful for any person to carry on his or her person or have in such persons possession,in any public place,street,or park any knife which has a blade length of four inches or more.
They sent me two pages from the book but you only asked about length. If any of this has changed and someone has more current info it would be great to hear it.
 
Pt 2 on length
Most if not all of my cop buddies grab my latest folder,all under 4 inches, place it across their four tightly held fingers and tell me "look out Al you know this is illegal."
I asked one of them that happened to be building a deck the last time I was by if he did all the measuring for the deck using the cubit. Point is should you find yourself in a situation that is still in the "I may be able to talk my way out" stage with a policeman who is not your buddy gently remind him or her that the rule is four inches not four fingers.
ALex
 
Brian,
The reason I was curious about carrying a knife in NYC is because my brother who lives in the city received a Spyderco Native from me for Christmas and he's too paranoid to carry it. I purposely bought him the Native since the length is well below 4" but he just threw the thing into the drawer.

Nothing is more distressing to a knife nut than to hear someone tell you they can't carry their knife.

It may be -26 below in Kodiak right now, but at least I can carry my knife.....except I can't get at it because I have too many layers of clothing on, but that's besides the point.
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~Greg~


[This message has been edited by Kodiak PA (edited 06 February 1999).]
 
The other thing to remember is if a policeman should happen to see your knife, and ask you to open it for him, you should use both hands, with the blade out (maybe i'm stating the obvious).

To me, the annoying part of carrying a large folder in NYC are the darn metal detectors that you occassionaly run into -- it's more of a hassle than i need. I have a Boker ceramic folder with a titaniam handle that i will carry when i know i'm going somewhere where there is a metal detector, it just saves me aggravation.
 
Boriqua -- Thanks for the info. I'd love to hear what other restrictions apply, i.e. opening mechanism, double-edge, method of carry (open v. concealed), etc.

Greg -- "I feel your pain"
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I've given a number of toys to non-knife people over the years. As bad as it is for them to relegate a knife to a drawer, the abuse they can put it through if they do use it can be worse to bear. I'll start a thread on this subject later today.

pk -- I've been thinking about getting a non-magnetic piece myself for the same reason. Although they're not very commonly used beyond airports, court houses, and other government buildings, I did encounter one in an office building last year.

I was en route to a meeting with a potential client. When I saw the security checkpoint in the lobby, I went back outside and slipped my Ascent & Delica into an internal pocket of my briefcase. Back inside, I walked though the metal detector and held my breath while my bag was both x-rayed and hand-inspected (all visitor packages were subject to the same). If they noticed the knives, they never said a word about them. Either they were very inattentive, or only concerned about bombs & guns.

Brian
 
The police can, of course, call a 2" knife "a dangerous weapon." I've heard than any locking folder can be considered illegal in NYC!!! Also, if it has a liner lock, it can be called a gravity knife.

Just keep it where no one can see it.
 
Fulcrum: where and from whom did you hear that a liner lock knife can be called a gravity knife in NYC?

L8r,
Nakano

"To earn a million is easy,a real friend is not."
 
Here's the long of it:
(disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer nor am I offering any legal advise. I'm just quoting what's in the regs.)

Administrative Code and Charter
New York City

Title 10-133 Possession of knives or instruments
a. Legislative findings. It is hereby declared and found that the possession in public places, streets and parks of the city, or large knives is a menace to the public health, peace, safety and welfare of the people of the city; that the possession in public places, streets and parks of such knives has resulted in the commission of many homicides, robberies, maiming and assaults of and upon the people of the city; that this condition encourages and fosters the commission of crimes, and contributes to juvenile delinquency, youth crime and gangsterism; that unless the possession or carrying in public places, streets and parks of the city of such knives without a lawful purpose is prohibited, thee is danger of an increase in crimes of violence and other conditions detrimental to public peace, safety and welfare. It is further declared and found that the wearing or carrying of knives in open view in public places while such knives are not being used for a lawful purpose is unnecessary and threatening to the public and should be prohibited.

b. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry on his or her person or have in such person's possession, in any public place, street, or park any knife which has a blade length of four inches or more.

c. It shall be unlawful for any person in a public place, street or park., to wear outside his or her clothing or carry in open view any knife with an exposed or unexposed blade unless such person is actually using such knife for a lawful purpose as set forth in subdivision d of this section.

d. The provisions of subdivisions b and c of this section shall not apply to (1)persons in the military service of the state of New York when duly authorized to carry or display knives pursuant to regulations issued by the chief of staff to the governor; (2) police officers and peace officers as defined in the criminal procedure law; (3) participants in special events when authorized by the police commissioner; (4) persons in the military or other service of the United States, in pursuit of official duty authorized by federal law; (5) emergency medical technicians or voluntary or paid ambulance drivers while engaged in the performance of their duties; or (6) any person displaying or in possession of a knife otherwise in violation of this section when such knife (a) is being used for or transported immediately to or from a place where it is used for hinting, fishing, camping, hiking picnicking, or any employment, trade or occupation customarily requiring the use of such knife; or (b) is displayed or carried by a member of a theatrical group, drill team, military parade or para-military unit or veterans organization, to, from, or during a meeting, requires the carrying of such knife; or (c) is being transported directly to or from a place of purchase, sharpening or repair, packaged in such a manner as not to allow easy access to such knife while it is transported; or (d) is displayed or carried by a duly enrolled member of the Boy or Girl Scouts of America or a similar organization or society and such displayed or possession is necessary to participate in the activities of such organization or society.

e. Violation of this section shall be an offense punishable by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding sixteen days or by both such fine and imprisonment.

10-134 Prohibition on sale of certain knifes (sic).
a. Legislative findings. It is hereby declared and found that the possession in public places, streets and parks of the city, or large knives is a menace to the public health, peace, safety and welfare of the people of the city; that the possession in public places, streets and parks of such knives has resulted in the commission of many homicides, robberies, maiming and assaults of and upon the people of the city; that this condition encourages and fosters the commission of crimes, and contributes to juvenile delinquency, youth crime and gangsterism; that if this situation is not addressed, then there is a danger of an increase in crimes of violence, and other conditions detrimental to public peace, safety and welfare. It has been found that folding knives with a blade of four (4) inches or more that locks in an open position are designed and used almost exclusively for the purpose of stabbing or the threat thereof. Therefore for the safety of the city, such weapons should be prohibited from sale within the jurisdiction of the city of New York.

b. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, or offer for sale within the jurisdiction of the city of New York, any folding knife with a blade length of four or more inches which is so constructed that when it is opened it is locked in a open position and cannot be closed without depressing or moving a release mechanism.

c. Exempt from this section are imported and exporters or merchants who ship or receive locking folding knives, with a blade length of four or more inches, in bulk, which knives are scheduled to travel or have traveled in the course of international, interstate, or intrastate commerce to a point outside the city. Such bulk shipments shall remain in their original shipping package, unopened, except for inspection and possible subdivision for further movement in interstate or intrastate commerce to a point outside the city.

d. Violation of this section shall be an offense punishable by a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) or by imprisonment not exceeding sixteen days (16) or both such fine and imprisonment. Any person violating this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollar for each violation.


 
Thanks for the info, grnamin. The < 4" portion is fairly straightforward, but I wonder how a folder carried clipped to a pocket (i.e., with the clip & a small portion of the knife exposed) would be considered in light of the prohibition concerning "...wear outside his or her clothing or carry in open view any knife with an exposed or unexposed blade..." Just musing, I don't see it changing my carry habits one way or the other.

Does anyone know if there's anything in the regs concerning double-edged knives?

Brian

[This message has been edited by bcaffrey (edited 07 February 1999).]
 
You're quite welcome, bcaffrey. I live and work in NYC. I keep my Sebenza clipped to my waistband. It helps to know the local laws and adhere to them. It's also good to behave so as not to attract attention to oneself. Better yet to have a story ready as to why you're carrying a knife. I say that it's my bagel (NY staple) slicer (simultaneously sticking gut out and rubbing it with both hands). Plus points of you have some cream cheese still on the blade.
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[This message has been edited by grnamin (edited 07 February 1999).]
 
I like the "cream cheese on the blade" tip, grnamin. However, since I generally have more than one, I better get some catering business cards printed.
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