The New York State Senate appears to have a major problem with a popular home and garden tool: machetes. While an outright ban was not averted, machetes were added to the list of “deadly weapons” along with switchblades, gravity and ballistic knives, daggers, metal or plastic knuckles, and billy clubs and blackjacks.
While murders and shootings appear to be down in New York City, slashing and stabbings are up 20% to 899 cases this quarter, which may have lead to this legislation. Apparently, this means the next logical step is to ban a tool used to cut back growth and gardens.
This isn’t the first time Democrats in Albany have zeroed in on machetes. According to Guns.com, Sen. Tony Avella for Queens wrote the following to his fellow lawmakers:
“Despite the obvious serious injury that can be caused by the use of a machete, such weapons have not been included in the penal law’s definition of ‘deadly weapon. This oversight is surprising given the common knowledge that machetes have often been used as weapons and are actually defined as such in Webster’s dictionary – ‘Machete – a large heavy knife used for cutting sugarcane and underbrush and as a weapon.;”
Now, those who possess the weapon must prove their innocence that they were using it lawfully. One man accused of owning a gravity knife received $57,000 in settlement money after the blade turned out to be that of a utility knife.
This is a troubling development as politicians continue to ban or limit anything that may potentially lead to harm instead of focusing on the root causes of the violence.
Here is some of the bill’s text:
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Subdivision 12 of section 10.00 of the penal law, as
amended by chapter 257 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as
12. “Deadly weapon” means any loaded weapon from which a shot, readily
capable of producing death or other serious physical injury, may be
discharged, or a switchblade knife, gravity knife, pilum ballistic
knife, metal knuckle knife, dagger, MACHETE, billy, blackjack, plastic
knuckles, or metal knuckles.
S 2. Subdivision 5 of section 265.01 of the penal law, as amended by
chapter 1 of the laws of 2013, is amended to read as follows:
(5) He OR SHE possesses any dangerous or deadly weapon, OTHER THAN A
MACHETE, and is not a citizen of the United States; or
S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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