New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday vetoed a bill that would have decriminalized certain types of pocketknives, legislation aimed at undoing a 1950s law making illegal any knife that could be opened with the flick of the wrist.
The bill would have amended the definition of switchblades and gravity knives to exclude some types of blades. According to a copy of a memorandum posted on the Albany Times Union website, the Democratic governor said the bill didn’t fully address the problem and proposed changes that were not adopted.
Cuomo said knives classified as illegal are marketed and sold as work tools for construction workers at retailers statewide — but anyone buying one could be prosecuted for weapon possession.
“This construct is absurd and must be addressed, but this bill unfortunately does not address it,” he wrote.
He said the issue would be addressed during the next legislative session.
Cuomo said the bill would create more confusion for law enforcement and knife owners and would force police officers to determine the design of a knife in order to decide whether it’s illegal. He said he suggested changes that weren’t adopted.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, applauded the veto and said the bill would have legalized dangerous weapons.