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Bible-college studentís pocketknife spoils trip to New York City ^ | 12 June, 2012 | Jeb Phillips

Posted on 06/15/2012 6:21:58 AM PDT by marktwain

He has completed the community service, and he has paid the fine. Because of the way that Clayton Baltzer sees the world, he believes this must be part of God’s plan.

Still, the Grove City High School graduate now has a New York weapons charge on his record. Baltzer, 19, is a Bible-college student — a camping-ministry major — and took his pocketknife to New York City on a field trip. He did not know about New York’s strict knife laws. He now has some fame among knife-rights advocates because of what happened to him.

“I have never been in trouble before,” Baltzer said.

His fine-arts class at Baptist Bible College & Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pa., went to New York City on March 27. It was Baltzer’s first trip to the city. On the schedule: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the World Trade Center site, Times Square and an opera at Lincoln Center.

Baltzer and his class were at the Times Square subway station when someone grabbed him by the arm and said, “ Don’t move.” It was a plainclothes New York City police officer.

Baltzer has carried a pocketknife almost everywhere since he was a 14-year-old camp counselor. He clips it on his pocket so that the clip is visible, but the knife isn’t. He always uses two hands to open it, the way most people would a regular pocketknife.

In New York state, it’s illegal to carry a “gravity knife” — a knife with a blade that is released from its handle by flicking a wrist and then locks into place. A switchblade, also illegal to carry in New York, isn’t a gravity knife because a spring opens the blade. A typical Swiss Army knife — legal, in theory — also isn’t a gravity knife because it can’t be opened just by flicking.

The officer had seen the clip on Baltzer’s pocket, which gave him cause to search him. He found the knife. In Baltzer’s telling, the officer tried to flick it open and couldn’t. He handed it to another officer, who did flick it open after several tries.

Baltzer was arrested and charged with the highest degree of misdemeanor under New York law. He had another knife in his backpack, a fixed-blade one he used to whittle for kids at a special-needs camp in Pennsylvania. He forgot he had it in his bag. Police confiscated that one, too.

Two months and two court hearings later, Baltzer was sentenced to two days of community service and fined $125. He paid the fine the day it was levied, and his volunteer camp work quickly took care of the community service.

A New York neighborhood-news website wrote about the case, and it came to the attention of an Arizona-based group called Knife Rights. Knife Rights had filed a federal lawsuit challenging New York’s knife laws even before Baltzer’s case.

“(Baltzer) is a poster child for the unreasonableness and ridiculousness of the prosecution of honest citizens carrying knives,” said Doug Ritter , Knife Rights’ chairman.

In 2010, the Manhattan district attorney announced an initiative to crack down on illegal knives. Since then, New York has treated many typical pocketknives as gravity knives, Ritter said.

Ohio’s laws “aren’t as screwed up as New York’s,” but they are vague, said Greg Ellifritz, who gives knife training to central Ohio officers and civilians. Ohio has outlawed the carrying of concealed “deadly weapons,” which might include knives, he said.

Ohio case law tends to show that a common pocketknife isn’t considered a deadly weapon, Ellifritz said. Some common pocketknives can be opened by flicking them with the proper technique, he said.

The arrest should drop off Baltzer’s record in a year. The experience has taught him a lesson, though.

“I don’t plan on visiting New York unless I have to,” he said.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: banglist; constitution; knife; ny
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Knives are arms protected by the Constitution. However, New York City has ignored the Second Amendment to the Constitution for a hundred years.
1 posted on 06/15/2012 6:22:10 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

Gee, why would anyone hate the pigs?

2 posted on 06/15/2012 6:25:34 AM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: marktwain

Is there any way to move New York City to California?

We need some type of zoo state to house these nanny staters.

3 posted on 06/15/2012 6:31:50 AM PDT by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
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To: marktwain

He probably doesn’t see anything wrong with carrying soft drinks into the city either. He’s lucky he wasn’t eating popcorn!

Imagine the horror!

4 posted on 06/15/2012 6:32:05 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: marktwain

Many knives that won’t flick open when held normally, will flick open if you grip the blade and flick it so that the heavier handle is the part that moves and opens the knife.

5 posted on 06/15/2012 6:36:43 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: DH

We could put up a fence with check points along the Cali border. It would work because we won’t be depending on the feds to enforce it....New Yawk is mostly on an island...limit access to “in-bound” then cut the out bound lanes....

6 posted on 06/15/2012 6:40:35 AM PDT by Adder (Da bro has GOT to go!)
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To: marktwain
gee.... without seeing a photo I'm guessing white guy. Cause if these cops actually were real police they'd go to where crime is and maybe find GUNS on some felons. But they might actually get shot or hurt so in order to satisfy the quota and pad there stats they get some yahoo from the sticks on a weapons charge.

That way the cops can "get back home safely" and collect their disability, overtime and retirement. Move to Florida and yap about being a donut muncher from New York. I can't wait till they have the Dairy Queen and Baskin Robins ice cream vendors up against the wall for selling large soft drinks.

What an armpit. Been there 3 times on business and wedding and I'm surprised that anybody would want to raise kids in that place. Where do they run around without bumping into cars, perverts, thugs, other people just running around.

Pocket knife..... hahahahahha... what a bunch of pussies.

7 posted on 06/15/2012 6:42:20 AM PDT by Dick Vomer (democrats are like flies, whatever they don't eat they sh#t on.)
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To: DH

I avoid going to NYC and the NE in general. Wouldn’t take a job there and wouldn’t open a business there. But if this is the way the people there want to live, so be it.

8 posted on 06/15/2012 6:44:06 AM PDT by dblshot (Insanity: electing the same people over and over and expecting different results.)
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To: marktwain
Ohio has outlawed the carrying of concealed “deadly weapons,” which might include knives, he said.

Actually, Ohio issues concealed HANDGUN permits, which does not apply to knives.

You can't legally carry a knife to use as a weapon, only as a tool.

If you have to use that tool to defend yourself while under a lethal threat, that's OK as long as you meet deadly force requirements. Bottom line here is, don't tell the responding officer you were carrying the knife for protection. It's a tool, remember.

I'm not a lawyer, although I used to go into bars and lie about that to undergraduate females. A long time ago.

You may want to check on what I said with an actual lawyer before you take it as gospel.

9 posted on 06/15/2012 6:51:24 AM PDT by Kenton
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To: marktwain
...In New York state, it’s illegal to carry a “gravity knife”...

How is a visitor supposed to know this?

10 posted on 06/15/2012 6:58:26 AM PDT by FReepaholic (Stupidity is not a crime, so you're free to go.)
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To: marktwain
I moved from NY almost two years ago. I feel by living there every year new rules regulations, laws and taxes from the state and local govt got more and more crazy.

Your gas at the pump is much higher because of state taxes on a gallon.

When I left every block had a least one or more homes for sale. My relatives when they need to pay for taxes rent out the basement or upstairs just to pay the high cost of living. It's not to make money but to keep your nose above water. Who needs to deal with all types with renting. I had to do it to survive. I got tired of it.

11 posted on 06/15/2012 7:01:44 AM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: marktwain

12 posted on 06/15/2012 7:08:03 AM PDT by stormer
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To: marktwain
The law grew out of the number of assaults, robberies and killings done with a knife known as the 007 in the 1970s. It was a five dollar folding knife that was available at any corner bodega.

A dab of solder in the end of the groove kept it closed in your pocket but made it easy to flick open. Some old-timers wedged a wooden match-stick in the groove for the same effect.

Now the only knife that is street legal in NYC is a four inch fixed blade like the Kabar...

13 posted on 06/15/2012 7:24:00 AM PDT by wtc911 (Amigo - you've been had.)
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To: marktwain
I've carried a knife since I got my first Boy Scout Knife, Fifty-Seven years ago when I was about seven. That included while IN High School, right in my back pocket. And I wasn't the Lone Ranger as most of us had a knife of some kind with us. (and this was in Chicago)

It's like Gibbs' Rule #9: "Don't go anywhere without a knife". Except it's been my Rule #1. Even now, still in the Peoples Republik of Ill-ear-noise I still carry, and not always only one.

Heck if I forget my "legal length" Swiss Army Knife I feel naked even if its a 15 minute run to the store and back. A knife is a tool, like a wrench or screw driver, and doesn't have a secret power that makes you stab people at its will. And the Federal Switchblade Knife Act (Law) is the biggest joke in the US Code - it's never enforced by the Feds. And most suburbs give you a $50 fine plus $25 court cost if caught with one. And natch they keep the knife.

I also collect knives and have ... I don't now how many(1)? And that's the funny part because that's Legal in IL. I can buy as many and the biggest dang knife I want but can't take one out of my house if the blade's longer than 3". [ STOO-PID laws]

(1) As the saying goes, 'If you do you don't have enough'.

14 posted on 06/15/2012 7:26:44 AM PDT by Condor51 (Never mess with an old man. He won't fight you he'll just kill you.)
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To: Dick Vomer; All
Clayton Baltzer
15 posted on 06/15/2012 7:32:15 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: Slump Tester

Here is the gig. The Agenda 21 types hope to corral as many people as possible into these metropolitan areas. So if population control is your focus, put in all the rules you want for total control for the people who WANT to live there, then the rules and the enforcement scheme will be in place when the folks who DON’T WANT to be there show-up.

16 posted on 06/15/2012 7:33:29 AM PDT by Coffee... Black... No Sugar (I'm gonna' BICKER!)
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To: Condor51
It's like Gibbs' Rule #9: "Don't go anywhere without a knife".

That's Flycatcher's Rule #9 too.

17 posted on 06/15/2012 7:40:09 AM PDT by Flycatcher (God speaks to us, through the supernal lightness of birds, in a special type of poetry.)
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To: Dick Vomer

“I’m surprised that anybody would want to raise kids in that place.”

The Northeast urban elite are very provincial and ignorant of what life can be like in a quiet, polite, non-PC, non-police state area.

They really need to get out more, somewhere other than NYC, Philly, Boston, DC.

18 posted on 06/15/2012 7:54:23 AM PDT by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: marktwain

Yet almost every state has knife laws. I was actually surprised by the Texas law on knives. I was out camping and had my SOG on my has about a 6 inch fixed blade. I almost left it on when I ran to grab some ice at a nearby store...had an officer of the law seen me...well let’s just say...I am glad I was remembered and was familiar with the law:

In Texas an “Illegal Knife” means a:
(A) knife with a blade over five and one half inches;

Rainer v. State, 763 S.W.2d 615 (Tex. App.-Eastland 1989, pet. ref’d) To determine
length, measure entire length of blade past handle, not just the sharpened portion of the
blade. Same result in McMurrough v. State, 995 S.W.2d 944 (Tex. App.-Ft. Worth 1999).

46.02 Unlawfully Carrying Weapons
(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly
carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife or club.

Masters v. State, 685 S.W.2d 654 (Tex. Crim. App. 1985) The prohibition against carrying
weapons does not violate the Federal or State Constitutional right to bear arms.

Under the statutes and the case law interpreting the statutes it is illegal to carry a pistol,
club or illegal knife on your person or generally inside the passenger compartment of
your vehicle including the glove compartment.

More here:

It is VERY advisable to look up the weapons laws in each state you plan on traveling in or through. They ALL vary and most have non-common sense laws.

19 posted on 06/15/2012 8:02:40 AM PDT by An American! (Proud To Be An American!)
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To: wtc911

That law is just plain silly. No matter how it opens, a knife is a knife is a knife.

20 posted on 06/15/2012 8:10:28 AM PDT by bgill
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