Monday, December 5, 2016

Politics, Strange bedfellows, and Archaic Knife Laws in NYC

Under the leadership of Cy Vance Jr. as District attorney, police have for the past 5 years or more been interpreting a 60+ year old law designed to take switchblades off the street to lock people up for carrying something as mundane as a Swiss Army knife. Owing to the fact that the bulk of the arrests, and the resulting criminal records, have fallen excessively on minorities in the city, there has been a call for a change.
A bill has since wound it's way through the NY state Assembly and Senate was passed in June of this year. The bill was to modify and clarify the true definition of what a 'Gravity Knife' is or isn't. The bill has yet to reach the the Governors desk for signing.

There is pressure, mostly from the Mayor, District Attorney and Police Commissioner of NYC not to sign it. Gov. Cuomo has not taken a stand either way. In actuality it may not matter. The Bill passed both house with overwhelming majorities. The vote was 99 to 12 in the Assembly, and unanimous in the Senate, setting up even a veto for an easy override that would allow the Bill to become Law.

To me, the best and most interesting part of this is the odd collection of disparate parties that came together from various political special interest groups. And If I can benefit from an 'Identity Politics' based piece of legislation, I'm certainly not going to complain.

Interesting times indeed.

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