New York Knife Laws.


Old Fuff
October 12, 2013, 01:24 PM
I have a friend that wants to send a knife (as a gift) to someone who lives in New York City/Long Island. However before doing so she’d like to know what the laws are. Can anyone help?

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Sam Cade
October 12, 2013, 01:53 PM
However before doing so she’d like to know what the laws are.

Here is a good start:

Edit: Links to the relevant laws within the above page.


In New York City, open view carry of any knife is prohibited, unless being used for a lawful purpose under certain exceptions including “when such knife (a) is being used for or transported immediately to or from a place where it is used for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, picnicking or any employment, trade or occupation customarily requiring the use of such knife;” Also, it is unlawful to possess a knife with a blade 4” or more in any public place, street or park. See New York City Administrative Code §10-133 Possession of knives or instruments.

The offense is punishable by a fine of $300 and/or 15 days imprisonment.
Prohibition on sales

In New York City it is unlawful for anyone to sell or offer for sale any folding knife with a blade of four or more inches which is so constructed that when it is opened it is locked in an open position and cannot be closed without depressing or moving a release mechanism. Exempt from this law are importers and exporters who ship these types of knives in bulk and the shipments remain in original unopened shipping containers. See New York City Administrative Code §10-134 Prohibition on sale of certain knives.

Violation of this prohibition is punishable by a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) or by imprisonment not to exceed fifteen days (15) or both such fine and imprisonment. Any person violating this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars for each violation.

October 12, 2013, 02:46 PM
Beyond the letter of the law, one also needs to pay close attention to NYC DA Cyrus Vance and his craziness. AKTI is sitting on their rears while Knife Rights is actively suing NYC. DA Vance is doing everything he can to grossly twist and expand NYC law to make almost any modern folding knife illegal in NYC - and he's been prosecuting plenty of folks.

ETA: KR NYC Law Suit Info (
Knife Rights is the lead plaintiff in a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit originally filed in June,2011, against New York City and New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.over their wrongful harassment of knife owners, retailers and manufacturers. As this lawsuit works its way forward, we will post newsworthy events and links to articles, motions and other relevant information here (Click on "Read More >>>>" below for links).

Lawsuit Summary: The lawsuit challenges New York City’s and District Attorney Vance’s attempt to criminalize as contraband the most widely-owned pocket knives in America -- one-hand opening and assisted opening folding knives -- under state laws prohibiting switchblades and gravity knives. The case seeks a judicial determination that the New York State laws regarding switchblades and gravity knives are unconstitutionally vague as applied by NYC and the DA to these common pocket knives (which are distinct from gravity knives and switchblades because of their bias towards closure). Knife Rights' lawsuit intends to stop New York City officials from abusing this vague state law to make bogus arrests of law-abiding citizens carrying common pocket knives, and from coercing knife retailers into making huge payments to avoid prosecution.(Click on "Read More >>>>" below for links to background articles)

Status Summary as of Oct. 7, 2013: Knife Rights has asked the Court for permission to amend its complaint to add details the Court said should have been included when it dismissed Knife Rights' Federal civil rights lawsuit against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. last week. If the motion for reconsideration is granted, the lawsuit would be able to continue forward without having to appeal to a higher court. Click here to read article with full details.

Status Summary as of Sept. 26, 2013: Knife Rights To Appeal Outrageous NYC Ruling. Recently appointed U.S. District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled that the plaintiffs falsely arrested or threatened with arrest have no standing to sue. Click here to read article with full details.

Status Summary as of Sept. 1, 2013: Original complaint amended, adding victimized NYC retailer Native Leather; most depositions and document requests completed; Judge throws out NYC & DA Motions to Dismiss, amended complaint accepted; NYC & DA re-file Motions to Dismiss on technicality; Plaintiff's experts' reports filed and depositions of experts in process.

Note that New York City administrative code has an under-4-inch length limit and requires knives be carried concealed. Knife Rights recommends that you never carry your knife clipped to your pocket in New York City. Even when covered by a jacket, simply moving the jacket aside to get to a wallet has been enough to get folks arrested. Always ensure your knife is completely concealed at all times, including not "printing" on the outside of your clothing. In addition, be extremely circumspect about using a knife for any purpose in a public setting.

Note also that NYC has interpreted the state law against gravity knives such that if an officer can "wrist flick" the knife blade open and the knife blade locks open, that knife is an illegal gravity knife. NYC takes this position even if it requires multiple tries and use of exaggerated arm thrust or motion. Using this interpretation, most any lockblade knife might be deemed an illegal gravity knife. If you are arrested for possession of an "illegal knife" in New York, please immediately contact Knife Rights at:

October 12, 2013, 09:52 PM
With respect to what? Possession vs. carry are different and what you can have in your home isn't the same as what you can carry (and what you may carry in one place isn't the same as what you can in others). What you can send through the mails or ship is also important. SO, is your question what is illegal to send through the mail or ship OR is it what is illegal to posses OR is it what is illegal to carry?

She can't send a switchblade through the mail.

The recipient can't possess a switchblade, gravity knife, ballistic knife, knuckle knife legally in the state of New York. Here's a fun part - The possession by any person of any dagger, dirk, stiletto, 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. OTOH, possession of a switchblade or gravity knife for use while hunting, trapping or fishing is ok as long as you have a license for hunting, trapping, or fishing.

Then there's the 4" prohibition for carry in NYC as well as the crazy mis-interpretation of the gravity knife provisions, etc, but you said Long Island (BTW, Long Island isn't NYC necessarily).

So, is it going to be carried or just stay at home. Is it a chef's knife or a switchblade?

Old Fuff
October 13, 2013, 01:17 AM
Actually she was interested in all of the above, as she had no idea what was involved.

Thanks to the answers submitted to this thread the idea of a "gift knife" for her friend in NYC (or Long Island, I'm not sure which) is off the table. It was intended to be a self-defense weapon where getting a handgun was largely unlikely to say the least.

This "friend" in NYC, in another place and time had been assaulted. My friend is from anothern western state, and the New York statutes came as somewhat a shock. She has read this thread through post #4 and thanks those who responded.

Her new opinion of New York City and its knife laws cannot be repeated here, as they would never get by a moderator. :cuss: :fire:

October 13, 2013, 02:18 PM
First off, the NYC problems mostly occur if you're carrying with a pocket clip showing.

Secondly, a knife isn't the ideal hide in plain sight defensive tool. The stick is the easiest to conceal because various forms of it aren't seen as a defensive tool even when in plain sight. We have a lot of threads on sticks in various forms.

Thirdly, while anyone and everyone should carry a knife, knowing how to avoid being put in the position to have to use it is the most important skill. Should that fail, having more than one tool in the "tool kit" and the skill to use them is better than carrying something as a talisman. Training trumps tactical toys.

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