Oral Argument Scheduled for Knife Rights’ New York City Gravity Knife Lawsuit Appeal

Oral Argument has been scheduled for January 18, 2018, in our long-running Federal civil rights lawsuit against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., which is currently under appeal.

Oral Argument before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is the last step before a ruling in the appeal of U.S. District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest’s tortured decision against the plaintiffs. That decision fundamentally re-characterized the case in a way that did not reflect the case presented.

The lawsuit challenges the City’s practice of treating common folding knives as prohibited “gravity knives,” then arresting and prosecuting law-abiding knife owners at the current rate of approximately 6,000 per year and intimidating retailers into paying large cash sanctions to avoid prosecution. Under the City’s vague and subjective “wrist flick” test, it is impossible to know what knives will be treated as legal.

Knife Rights members and supporters are welcome to attend the Oral Argument in New York City. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 1703 at the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York City.  (Click here for the Court’s map and subway directions or Click here for Google Maps).

Please note that this is not a trial court and the format of the hearing may be very unfamiliar to attendees. This is a very formal proceeding in front of a Federal Appeals Court, just one step below the U.S. Supreme Court. The attorneys from each side present their arguments and then they will be grilled by the three Appeals Court Judges on the panel as to the fine points of their legal arguments and the law. The actual hearing can be expected to last as few as 30 minutes up to an hour at the most.

Although the calendar has our case scheduled for 10:00 AM, there are other cases on the 10:00 AM calendar as well, so there is no way to predict exactly when our case will be heard that morning.

If you come to watch, it should come as no surprise that you will have to leave your pocketknife at home and you will have to pass through a metal detector and screening area. You may not be allowed to bring a cell phone, tape recorder or photographic equipment into the court house, so be prepared for that. Allow extra time to get through security.

While it isn’t required that you “dress up” in a suit and tie, please do respect the Court and dress appropriately. While in attendance, please remember that your actions will reflect on Knife Rights–you are there only to respectfully and courteously witness the proceedings.

Please consider making a year-end TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation to the Knife Rights Foundation. It’s your contributions that make our work possible.

Click here to review the full appeal record including Plaintiff’s Appeal Brief and the two Amicus Briefs in support.