Andrew M. Cuomo Rejects a Bill for the Second Time

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Just two days ago, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo refused to sign a bill that would have allowed people in the state to carry pocket knives. At the moment, possession of such knives in the state of New York is illegal. However, the state lawmakers have constantly argued that making the knives illegal in the state is used to discriminate disproportionately against the minorities. Should have the governor signed the bill, the knives would have been classified as gravity knives and this could have made them legal. It’s worth to note that the state had passed the law for the second time in three years. However, the two attempts had been stopped by the office of the governor from becoming law. The law being referenced here is a 1958 law that prevents people from carrying knives that open with the flick of the arm. It’s worth noting that this is a knife that can be used by several professionals such as electricians and construction workers. However, worries are that the knife can be routinely bought by people with malicious intentions as no identification is required. The gadget can be bought from sporting goods stores and hardware stores.

With the bill that was declined by the New York governor, the aim was to define the kinds of knives that are prohibited. Should have the bill passed, there were concerns that illegal pocketknives that are currently classified by the law as illegal would have been legalized. In his decline statement, the governor said that he understood the bill was written to legalize all folding knives and he could not be part of that. He further wrote that the bill had gone beyond the intentions of innocent workers who use these knives for legitimate purposes. One of the advocates of the bill is the Legal Aid Society. This is an organization form the city of New York that specializes in representing low-income New Yorkers. As a result, the organization said that 84 percent of the people it had represented for gravity knives charges were Hispanics and black children. The organization further said that close to 5,000 people are arrested in the state annually for charges related to pocket knives. An attorney in New York known as Tina Luongo says that the charges are not related to using the knife for malicious intentions, it involves just carrying the knife. The bill had been sponsored by Dan Quart and Diane Savino.

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