Skip to comments.Bible-college studentís pocketknife spoils trip to New York City
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 Gods 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 Yorks 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 Baltzers 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, Dont 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 isnt. He always uses two hands to open it, the way most people would a regular pocketknife.
In New York state, its 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, isnt a gravity knife because a spring opens the blade. A typical Swiss Army knife legal, in theory also isnt a gravity knife because it cant be opened just by flicking.
The officer had seen the clip on Baltzers pocket, which gave him cause to search him. He found the knife. In Baltzers telling, the officer tried to flick it open and couldnt. 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 Yorks knife laws even before Baltzers 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.
Ohios laws arent as screwed up as New Yorks, 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 isnt 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 Baltzers record in a year. The experience has taught him a lesson, though.
I dont plan on visiting New York unless I have to, he said.
Gee, why would anyone hate the pigs?
Is there any way to move New York City to California?
We need some type of zoo state to house these nanny staters.
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!
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
How is a visitor supposed to know this?
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.
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...
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'.
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.
That's Flycatcher's Rule #9 too.
“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.
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 belt...it 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. refd) 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.
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.
That law is just plain silly. No matter how it opens, a knife is a knife is a knife.
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