New Knife Prohibition in Boston

CJ Buck

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I received a call from our sales rep for the boston area and he advised me to contact David Marx at Stoddard Cutlery. It appears that the city of Boston is proposing an ordinance against all cutlery with blade length over 2.5 inches, except in use for hunting, fishing or on the job requirements. David is in contact with some local attys who know the political landscape and can get to the background of this request.

We do not know who the authors are or what was driving the 2.5 inches and will be getting that information over the next week.

I will be afk for the next 2 weeks hunting elk in Colorado but wanted to start this thread collecting input. If we have any listeners in our radio audience who are from the Boston area please post what you are able to find out.

After we figure out just what we are up against we can come up with appropriate actions to get this legislation altered or dropped.
 
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Does that mean you cant sell a knife in boston over 2.5 inches or you cant carry a knife in boston over 2.5 inches?
Anyway,i think that the ordinance is really stupid, its just letting those dam politician get closer to their overall goal COMPLETE WEAPONS BANS. Its funny how in a state where there is the toughest gun control legislation in the US, it is one of the places with the highest gun related crime rate? I wonder how hard is it to get a CCW permit in Boston, probably impossible right? And you know my mom was almost a victum of a crime in Boston? She was a student at Boston University, and some creep forced entry on her apartment while she was out. From what the police gathered, he was standing in her shower waiting for my mom to get back.(And do something to her I dont want to even think about) But, thank god for tobacco, he ran out of cigarretts and left the apartment to get some more smokes. I guess he decided never to come back, and my mom got home and called the police. Just think if he wasn't a smoker he would have hurt my mom. And because of all these ordinances in Boston, she probably would have not been carrying a weapon. Thats one reason why I will never ever stop fighting for my right to keep and bear arms.
 

CJ Buck

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I will be afk for the next 10 days. I will ask Jan Billeb and Dave Kowalski to moderate this thread as to what comes up. Dave is preparing a letter from AKTI to send to the city council if we feel it will help. AKTI is standing by, ready to lend our support as actions begin to clarify.

Here is the actual proposed ordinance:

Be it ordained by the City Council of Boston, as follows:

That CBC, Ordinances, Chapter 16 be amended by inserting the following new language:

16-45 PROHIBITING THE CARRYING OF KNIVES OR SIMILAR WEAPONS

16-45.1 Carrying of Weapons Prohibited. No person, except as provided by law, shall carry on his person, or carry under his control in a vehicle, any knife having any type of blade in excess of two and one-half (2 1/2") inches, (except when actually engaged in hunting or fishing or in going directly to and/or returning directly from such activities, or any employment which requires the use of any type of knife), ice picks, dirks or similar weapons that are likely to penetrate through police officer's ballistic vests, or other object or tool so redesigned, fashioned, prepared or treated that the same way may be used to inflict bodily harm or injury to another.

16-45.2 Penalty. Violators of any provision of this ordinance shall be subject to a fine of not more than 300 hundred ($300.00) dollars for each offense.

16-45.3 Severability. The provisions of this section shall be severable and if any section, part, or portion hereof shall be held invalid for any purpose by any court of competent jurisdiction, the decision of such court shall not affect or impair any remaining section, part or portion thereof.

16-45.4 Effective Date. This section shall take effect immediately upon its passage.
 
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I'm sure that they probably don't care but do they realize that the law woud make Victorinox SAKs, and most multitools illegal. I haven't met anyone who was offended by my SAKs or multitools..........
 
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I was doing some snooping through Mass case law and ran across something interesting. It appears that the newly proposed ordinance for Boston is almost a verbatim copy of a long established law in Lynn, Mass. I wonder how many locales have such ordinances without the knowledge of the citizenry.


Commonwealth v. Raul Inoa


97-1658


SUPERIOR COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS, AT ESSEX


1998 Mass. Super. LEXIS 44



January 29, 1998, Decided


FINDINGS OF FACT

"...After searching for 20 to 30 seconds, Inoa had failed to unearth a license or registration, and Kasle ordered Inoa out of the Honda. Kasle made no observations of the inside of the vehicle at the time Inoa got out. Instead, he ordered Inoa onto a grassy area where he began a pat frisk of Inoa. In the course of the frisk, he felt a hard object in Inoa's pants pocket which he believed was a knife. He removed the object and found it to be a knife as suspected.

The court viewed the knife, which was introduced in evidence at the hearing. The knife is an ordinary-appearing, folding pocket knife. Upon his viewing the knife at the scene, Kasle thought that perhaps the blade was longer than 2-1/2", so he opened the knife and measured it using a scale "ruler" in his pocket diary. The entire length of the open metal blade measures 2-3/4". The length of the cutting portion of the metal, exclusive of the thicker metal which serves as the pivot for the blade to fold into the handle, measures 2-1/4".

Kasle promptly arrested Inoa for possessing a knife with a blade longer than 2-1/2" in violation of Section I of the Lynn City Ordinances of 1995 which provides in pertinent part:

No person . . . shall carry on his person, or carry on his person or under his control in a vehicle . . . any knife having any type of blade in excess of two and one-half (2-1/2") inches, (except when actually engaged in hunting or fishing or in going directly to and/or returning directly from such activities, or any employment which requires the use of any type of knife) . . .

Prior to arresting Inoa, Kasle did not ask whether Inoa was going to or returning from hunting, fishing, or work. Contrary to Kasle's assertion at trial, I do not find that he even asked Inoa what the knife was for. I infer from the thoroughness of Kasle's investigation to determine whether the blade might exceed 2-1/2" and the promptness of his arrest of Inoa for possessing an item which ordinarily might not result in arrest that Kasle possessed a hunch and hoped to find a basis to arrest Inoa and to search him and/or the vehicle further..."
 

CJ Buck

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Boy...the officer obviously wanted to arrest that gentleman. It makes you wonder just what the rest of that story was. It also illustrates how these laws can be used by an officer, hopefully for all the right reasons, to get bad guys off the street.

That is a huge "hopefully" and one I am not fully comfortable with.

I personally do not like legislation that criminalizes behaviors that a reasonable law abiding citizen, namely me, would do in the normal course of my day.
 

alelser

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Since the scond sentance in 16-45.1 has no period separating out the clause about "...or similar weapons that are likely to penetrate through police officer's ballistic vests..." from the rest of the sentance, it seems that one could argue that the ban is only on knives with blades of 2.5" or greater that are likely to penetrate a ballistic vest. Check with any manufacturer of the vests (assuming they are talking about the ballistic, kevlar vests) and they'll probably say that there isn't a knife blade out there that will penetrate their vests; hence, no knife is likely to penetrate, and the law is moot.

Just my $0.02. Hope it helps.

-Al-
 

CJ Buck

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There is a public hearing before the Boston City Council on Thursday 11/29 at 10:30am est.

Our goal here is to postpone action being taken on thursday and then help draft reasonable legislation that will not criminalize law abiding behavior.

There will be at least 2 key retailers in attendance from the area. Mel Herman from Chesapeake Knife and Tool and David Marks of Stoddard's.

There is a chance that Wally Gardiner, Pres of Schrade will also be in attendance if schedules will permit.

Dave Kowalski has drafted a statement from AKTI that Wally or Mel will read into the council minutes. In summary it talks about who makes up AKTI, our desire to assist law enforcement in reducing crime and point out that this ordinance criminalizes law abiding citizens. We also offer our assistance is drafting new legislation.
 
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Originally posted by alelser
Check with any manufacturer of the vests (assuming they are talking about the ballistic, kevlar vests) and they'll probably say that there isn't a knife blade out there that will penetrate their vests; hence, no knife is likely to penetrate, and the law is moot.

Just my $0.02. Hope it helps.

-Al-


My understanding is that the opposite is true: knives cut easily through bulletproof vests, and that "stab resistant vests" are a totally different design, and one not good for stopping bullets. I think the unmet challenge of body armour design right now is to create vests that are resistant to both bullets and stabs.

I would argue that the language of the proposed ordinance is not to restrict its application, but rather to broaden it so that Police Officers can use their judgement to arrest anyone who is carrying something that they *think* might be intended to penetrate a ballistic vest, automatically including any knife over 2.5"

Unlike bulletproof or "ballistic" vests, stab-resistant vests are made of materials that are designed to not tear and to resist a sharp tip striking with moderate force. To stop bullets, on the other hand, vest materials have to stretch a bit and deform the bullet to dissipate the impact energy. In short, bullets are very fast and blunt and knives are comparatively slow, but very sharp. So a bulletproof vest isn't very good at resisting a stab, and vice versa.

--Discovery Channel


Any update on the status of the ordinance? There is nothing on the Boston City Council's webpage.
 
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Originally posted by anthony cheeseboro
Carlos, according to the latest issue of Knife World (Vol.28, No. 1, Jan. 2002) the law has been passed. Check out www.knifeworld.com to see if they hve further info. The law does provide breaks for people involved in activity that involves knives and provides breaks for people transporting knives to and from knife shops etc.
 

CJ Buck

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When Boston City Councilor Dan Conley proposed on October 1, 2001 to ban the carrying of knives with blades in excess of 2 1/2 inches, he only provided exceptions for hunters, fishermen or those who needed to use their knives on the job. And he added the stipulation such knives could not be transported in vehicles unless going to or coming back from a fishing or hunting trip, or going back and forth from work.
In a November 29 letter to Councilor Conley, AKTI pointed out that … " The proposed Boston ordinance 1145 [16-45] is currently too broad to be effectively used against any specific group of identified criminals. What it does is make de-facto criminals of virtually every responsible Boston citizen.
"Whether that person is having a snack while watching TV in their home, buttering their bread at breakfast, pruning their roses in the backyard, scraping a sparkplug gap in the garage, camping, rock climbing, hiking, biking, jogging, kayaking, canoeing, or attending a knife collector show to buy or sell, your ordinance would be making them criminals subject to fine. If they are carrying a carving knife to grandma's house to carve the Christmas ham, they would be criminals."
Furthermore, Boston-area retailers, notably Stoddard's and Chesapeake Knife & Tool were also concerned about their customers transporting knives they had just purchased, as well as liability issues.

The following people were in attendance in support of our industry:
1. Mr. David Marks, president and owner of Stoddard's Inc., Boston's fifth-oldest business selling fine cutlery and fishing tackle.
2. Mr. Anthony S. Fiotto Esq., attorney representing Stoddard's.
3. Mr. Mel Herman, owner of Chesapeake Knife & Tool Co. (an AKTI Premier Member), an 18-store chain with one outlet located within the Boston City limits and another in a Massachusetts regional mall.
4. Mr. Jerry Rinder, Vice President, General Manager of Swiss Army Brands, Inc. (an AKTI Advisory Member).
5. Mr. Walter A. Gardiner, President of Imperial Schrade Corp. representing both ISC and AKTI.

The input provided by these gentlemen was taken into consideration and the verbage provided in a brief by Mr. Fiotto was used almost verbatim in the final ordinance. Industry's goal was to temper the law enforcement desire to disarm criminals with protecting law abiding citizenry's ability to carry knives.

Individuals got this done and AKTI provided a rallying point as it was created to do.

Excellent work everyone...



Here is the actual ordinance as it was passed...

CITY OF BOSTON

Be it ordained by the City Council of Boston, as follows:
That CBC, Ordinances, Chapter 16 be amended by inserting the following new language:

16-45 PROHIBITING THE CARRYING OF KNIVES OR
SIMILAR WEAPONS

16-45.1 Carrying of Weapons Prohibited. No person, except as provided by law, shall carry on his person, or carry under his control in a vehicle, any knife having any type of blade in excess of two and one-half (2 1/2") inches, (except when actually engaged in hunting or fishing or [delete … in going directly to and/or returning directly from such activities, or any employment which requires the use of any type of knife), … end delete] any employment, trade or lawful recreational or culinary activity which customarily involves the carrying or use of any type of knife, or (b) in going directly to and/or returning directly from such activities, or (c) if the knife is being transported directly to or from a place of purchase, sharpening, or repair, and if packaged in such a manner as not to allow easy access to the knife while it is being transported), ice picks, dirks or similar weapons that are likely to penetrate through police officer's ballistic vests, or other object or tool so redesigned, fashioned, prepared or treated that the same may be used to inflict bodily harm or injury to another.

16-45.2 Distribution Exception. This section shall not apply to persons who, through entities or establishments engaged in a recognized retail or wholesale business, are involved in the sale, purchase or repair of knives for trade, sport, hobby or recreation, including without limitation persons engaged in the transportation to or form such entities or establishments.

16-45.3 Applicability. Nothing in this section shall be construed to enhance or diminish any duties of persons described in section 16-45.2, and this section shall not be introduced or cited in any proceeding as evidence of negligence, recklessness, or similar state of mind of such persons.

16-45.4 Penalty. Violators of any provision of this ordinance shall be subject to a fine of not more than three hundred ($300.00) dollars for each offense.

16-45.5 Severability. The provisions of this section shall be severable and if any section, part, or portion hereof shall be held invalid for any purpose by any court of competent jurisdiction, the decision of such court shall not affect or impair any remaining section, part or portion thereof.
Effective Date. This section shall take effect immediately upon its passage. [Ed. Note: Passed 12/12/01]
 
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I posted the following in the General Knife Discussion:

Maybe agenda is a bad word but I'm curious if AKTI is planning any legal action to oppose newly enacted knife laws.(The new Boston ordinance is an example.) I understand that their funds are limited but they could try NRA style fund raising. I'm not well off but I would be willing to contribute. Perhaps some manufacturers would be willing to contribute as well. Also, do you think that we should organize a letter writing campaign to companies that make multitools and knives but don't belong to AKTI?

Mr. Buck, I greatly respect your opinion and I AM pleased that the AKTI did manage to moderate the law but maybe it would have been better to allow a flawed law to pass and challenge it in court with the hope of having it thrown out. The fact remains that SAK's, most multitools and a lot of general purpose knives are now illegal for EDC. I firmly believe that the time for compromise is over. We should now become as polically active as the NRA. For example, would it be possible to use political influence to support the opponet of the gentleman who intoduced the legislation? I am aware of the difficulties in this type of fight as well as the cost but if we don't take a stand now it may be too late.

Interesting thought. In some places you may be able to carry a pistol but not a knie.
 
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While I guess we should be sort-of thankful that AKTI was able to moderate this insane, "mala prohibita"-worshipping excretion of political stupidity into a slightly more palatable plate of said excrement (perhaps some sugar and spice added), I am not exactly celebrating.

Mr. Buck, my carry knife during most of the '80s was a Scoutlite. Before that it was an SAK. Also included in my past was a Gerber LST, which appears to either meet or violate the Boston law, depending on how it's measured.

The smallest knife I usually carry now is a Delica. Illegal in Boston. Everything else I'm likely to carry without a care in Ohio is now illegal in Boston.

What do I care--I don't live there, do I? No, but I am extremely upset at our lawmakers' inability to relate to noncriminal behavior and beliefs. It seems everything I might do is becoming more and more suspect.

Every time another of these unnecessary laws is passed, all Americans become a little less "citizens" and a little more "peons."

We need to start getting pissed about this crap and fighting it openly, proudly, and responsibly.

Karl
 

CJ Buck

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Apr 15, 1999
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Excellent points gentlemen but remember, laws get challenged for being unconstitutional or being in direct opposition to federal statute. Cities have every right to enact "stupid" laws restricting their citizenry. Grass roots support is our best hope in these actions.

AKTI will continue to monitor and impact where we can. We are not the behemoth that the NRA is. We can demand nothing by force the way they can. We must be smart and smooth in our arguments and our style. In boston this law was already supported by the city council before any opposition even got involved. AKTI remains the rallying point and information collection point.
 
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