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RELEVANT STATUTES AND LAWS
REGARDING KNIVES AND BOX CUTTERS
Also see our 3 Knife Fighting DVDs:
Knife Offense | Knife Defense | Cane vs. Knife

Note: 25% of homicides occurring in the Bronx are as the result of stabbings or slashings with edged weapons. There are several statutes in the Penal law and Administrative Code that govern the ppossession, use and sale of knives and boxcutters. The following summary of laws and processing guidlines is prepared to assist police officers in the field.

Certain Knives are ILLEGAL TO POSSESS (MERE POSSESSION)

TYPE WHAT IS IT?
PROCESSING LAW SECTION
 Switchblade
knife

Any knife that opens automatically when pressure is applied to a button, spring, or another device in the handle.
Arrest
Class A. Misd.

CPW 4*
P.L. 265.01(1)

Gravity
knife
 Similar to a switchblade, except it is opened and becomes locked in place by gravity, or the use of centrifugal force (i.e., "flicking" it open).
Arrest
Class A. Misd.
CPW 4*
P.L. 265.01
(1)
Pilum
Ballistic knife

Knives that have blades that can be projected from the handle (a projectile) by hand pressure applied to a button, lever, etc., in the handle.
Arrest
Class A. Misd.
CPW 4*
P.L. 265.01
(1)
metal
knuckle knife

When open, this device can function as a set of (aka "brass") knuckles as well as a knife.  Arrest
Class A. Misd.
CPW 4*
P.L. 265.01(1)
Cane sword
A cane that has concealed within it, a blade that can be used as a stilleto.
Arrest
Class A. Misd.
CPW 4*
P.L. 265.01(1)
Kung Fu
Star

A disc like object, with sharpened points, (primarily) designed to be thrown.
Arrest
Class A. Misd.
CPW 4*
P.L. 265.01(1)

Certain [instruments]  are ILLEGAL TO POSSESS (IF INTENDED TO USE UNLAWFULLY AGAINST ANOTHER)

TYPE
WHAT IS IT? PROCESSING LAW SECTION
Any dangerous knife
The Penal Law mentions some of your basic knives, dirks, daggers, stilletos, razors etc. before concluding that ANY dangerous instrument (including any knife) if intended for unlawful use against another, is illegal to possess. (See below to determine whether presumption is available to satisfy intent element for arrest purpose).
Arrest
Class A. Misd.
CPW 4*
P.L. 265.01(2)

Boxcutter Illegal to possess if intended for unlawful use against another
Arrest
Class A. Misd.
CPW 4*
P.L. 265.01(2)
Razor Blade
Illegal to possess if intended for unlawful use against another Arrest
Class A. Misd.
CPW 4*
P.L. 265.01(2)

*Presumption of Unlawful Intent [P.L. 265.15 (4)]: "The possession by any person of any dagger, dirk, stilleto, dangerous knife or any other weapon, instrument, appliance or substance designed, made, or adapted for use primarily as a weapon, is presumptive evidence of intent to use the same unlawfully against another".

*This presumption can not be used for a razor blade, box cutter or knife that is not designed, made or adapted for use primarily as a weapon. Without the presumption, indepedent evidence such as manner of use, circumstances of possession, or statements obtained, are required to make out probable cause that the weapon was possessed with intent to use unlawfully.

*if the individual arrested for CPW 4 (1), (2), (3), or (5) has ever been convicted OF ANY CRIME, the offense becomes CPW3 (D Felony). P.L. 265.02 (1)

*DAT ELIGIBLE? CPW 4 offenders can be DAT'ed (if otherwise eligible). But remember, a previous conviction can disqualify if the offense becomes a felony as specified above.

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Certain [instruments]  are ILLEGAL TO POSSESS (UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES)

 TYPE WHAT IS THE CIRCUMSTANCE?
 PROCESSING  LAW SECTION
Any Knife
(Blade › 4")
It is illegal to possess, anywhere on a person, any knife if a blade of four (4) inches or greater (in a public place).
C-Summons Violation  Possession of Knives.
A.C. 10-133 (b)
Any Knife (outside Clothing)
It is illegal to possess any knife (any size), if it is worn outside one's clothing or carried in open view (blade exposed or not).
C-Summons Violation
 Possession of Knives.
A.C. 10-133 (b)

The above 2 statutes do not apply to the military, police, EMS, drill teams, boy scouts, or persons employed in an occupation that customarily requires use of a knife. Persons transporting knives from purchase or repair or for a legitimate purpose like hunting, fishing, parade etc., are likewise exempt.

Boxcutter
(by person ‹ 22 yrs.)

It is illegal for a person under the age of 22 to possess on their person a boxcutter in a school or persons under the age of 21 to possess in a public place.
C-Summons
Unclass Misd.

Possession of a boxcutter by persons under 22 yrs. A.C. 10-134.1 (e)
Any dangerous knife
(by person ‹ 16 yrs.)
It is unlawful for any person under the age of 16 to possess any dangerous knife.
Juvenile Delinquent
Unlawful Poss.
Weapon ‹ 16 yrs
P.L. 265.05

Any dangerous knife
(By non-citizen of USA)
It is illegal for any person to possess a dangerous (i.e. dangerous knife) or deadly weapon if they are not a citizen of the USA.
Arrest
Class A. Misd.

CPW 4*
P.L. 265.01 (5)


*Possession of a boxcutter is not illegal by a person ‹22 yrs. if possessed in a school for a valid instructional purpose, under the supervision of a school staff person, or, if possessed in the course of employment, under the supervision of an employer.


*In the A.C., a public place (in addition to parks, streets, etc.) is defined to include any portion of an apt. house (or hotel), that does not constitute a room, or apt. designed for actual residence (illegal to possess in hallways, lobbies, or other places where a substantial group of people have access).


The Following Statutes are Related to the SALE OR DISPLAY of Knives and Boxcutters

TYPE WHAT IS THE CIRCUMSTANCE? PROCESSING LAW SECTION
Folding Knife
(Blade › 4")

It is illegal to sell, or to offer to sell, ANY folding knife with a blade greater than 4 inches. A folding knife is any knife that locks in place when opened, and closes by being depressed, or by a mechanism.
C-
Summons
Violation

Prohibition of Sale of Certain Knives,
A.C. 10-134 (b)

*Merchants (importers/exporters) who ship or receive these items, in bulk, for the purpose of commerce outside of New York City are exempt from this statute. Merchants must leave these items in their original shipping package (they cannot be opened).
Boxcutter
(Sale to any person less than 21 yrs.)

It is illegal to sell, or to offer to sell, a boxcutter to any person less than 21 years of age.
C-
Summons
Violation
Prohibition on sale of a boxcutter to a person under 21.
A.C. 10-134.1 (c)

Open display of boxcutters
It is illegal to openly display boxcutters for sale so that they are accessible to the public, without the assistance of a store employee (or visible to a cashier or service area that is usually manned during store hours).
C-
Summons
Violation
Prohobition on open display of boxcutters by sellers
A.C. 10-134.1 (d)


What's Legal to Possess?

*It is legal for persons to carry regular or folding knives (the type that has to be opened and locked by your fingers, rather than a mechanism or "flicking it open"), as long as the blade does not equal or exceed 4 inches, it is not carried or displayed outside their clothing, or intended for use against another.

**Boxcutters are legal to possess by persons who are 22 yrs. of age or older (also minors at job, or doing school project) unless intended for illegal use.


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