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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    88

    Belt-mounted LE knife in NYC, as an off-duty peace officer

    My specific question is in regards to carrying my LE knife on my belt while in NYC, off-duty as a peace officer. Bear with me here, I may be over-complicating this question.

    Let me start with my credentials:
    I am a part-time NYS Peace Officer, without firearms. I am sworn LE, went through our academy, and am certified with OC and baton. I understand that when I am off-duty, I have no LE powers, I am just another citizen, and there is no grey area there. I carry my personal firearm off-duty when I can, and when I can't I carry my LE knife on my belt.

    So now my question: according to NYC code 10-133, you cannot carry a knife on your belt unless you fit one of the criteria of exemptions. One of those exemptions is Police of Peace Officer, which according to the CPL, includes me. Here is the section of law:

    The provisions of subdivisions b and c of this section shall not apply to (1) persons in the military service of the state of New York when duly authorized to carry or display knives pursuant to regulations issued by the chief of staff to the governor; (2) police officers and peace officers as defined in the criminal procedure law; (3) participants in special events when authorized by the police commissioner; (4) persons in the military or other service of the United States, in pursuit of official duty authorized by federal law; (5) emergency medical technicians or voluntary or paid ambulance drivers while engaged in the performance of their duties;
    With this information, I believe that I CAN carry my knife in NYC on my belt because of the wording in this code. For section 1, 3, 4, and 5, it says "in the performance of their duties" or similar, but for section 2, it just says police of peace officer. Looking at other sections of penal law, it often says "in pursuant to their duties" such as in article 35. With this information, does anyone have any confidence in if my interpretation of the law is accurate.

    This will help me out in both my understanding of the law, as well as what equipment I will have on me off-duty while visiting the city. I hope this is clear, let me know if I left out anything important.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Looking through your bank records & garbage..
    Posts
    1,301
    Quote Originally Posted by siqqq View Post
    My specific question is in regards to carrying my LE knife on my belt while in NYC, off-duty as a peace officer. Bear with me here, I may be over-complicating this question.

    Let me start with my credentials:
    I am a part-time NYS Peace Officer, without firearms. I am sworn LE, went through our academy, and am certified with OC and baton. I understand that when I am off-duty, I have no LE powers, I am just another citizen, and there is no grey area there. I carry my personal firearm off-duty when I can, and when I can't I carry my LE knife on my belt.

    So now my question: according to NYC code 10-133, you cannot carry a knife on your belt unless you fit one of the criteria of exemptions. One of those exemptions is Police of Peace Officer, which according to the CPL, includes me. Here is the section of law:



    With this information, I believe that I CAN carry my knife in NYC on my belt because of the wording in this code. For section 1, 3, 4, and 5, it says "in the performance of their duties" or similar, but for section 2, it just says police of peace officer. Looking at other sections of penal law, it often says "in pursuant to their duties" such as in article 35. With this information, does anyone have any confidence in if my interpretation of the law is accurate.

    This will help me out in both my understanding of the law, as well as what equipment I will have on me off-duty while visiting the city. I hope this is clear, let me know if I left out anything important.
    I'm visualizing a Crocodile-Dundee-esque "That's not a knife.. THAT'S a knife" deal. Frankly, that vision probably SHOULD prompt a few more questions, but: If you're a peace officer, and the code exempts peace officers, you're probably good. There are stories going back about a hundred years-- and most are probably true, about the extent the average cop in NYC will go to avoid jamming anyone remotely connected to the job.

    Just thought, if it's someplace I wouldn't go unarmed, I'm not sure substituting a knife for "unarmed" is any better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by DennisNJ View Post
    I'm visualizing a Crocodile-Dundee-esque "That's not a knife.. THAT'S a knife" deal. Frankly, that vision probably SHOULD prompt a few more questions, but: If you're a peace officer, and the code exempts peace officers, you're probably good. There are stories going back about a hundred years-- and most are probably true, about the extent the average cop in NYC will go to avoid jamming anyone remotely connected to the job.

    Just thought, if it's someplace I wouldn't go unarmed, I'm not sure substituting a knife for "unarmed" is any better.
    Heh, definitely not THAT big of a knife! I carry a Ka-bar TDI, so it's relatively small, but it's a fantastic self-defense knife.

    And yes, agree with your statement. It is different for peace officers compared to police officers though, since we do not have our powers off duty. That means no OC (unless .75 oz or less), no baton, no arrests (unless as a citizen), etc.. It shouldn't limit us to the ability to provide some protection though, you never know who we may have pissed off in the past. If anyone else has any insight, feel free to share. Not sure if we have any lawyers on here, but it would be great to hear from someone who can interpret the code with authority.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    1,785
    JMHO - You may win the war but you will almost definitely lose the battle. A fixed blade knife sheathed on the belt will get you a conversation from every cop who notices it. The younger guys are not as likely to offer the same professional courtesy as some of the vets. You may very well be in the right, but do you want the hassle? Discretion is the better part of valor here. Out of sight, out of mind. And definitely don't try to get through any transit, building of interest, or special event screening.

    P.S. The TDI is a pretty good tool, if a little one dimensional. I suggest your boot or on a chain under the shirt.
    P.P.S. I have no idea where you work, but I doubt highly they would back you on this one if you did get jammed up. Something else to consider.
    "There is no second place winner"-- Bill Jordan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    88
    Thanks Jim, I definitely agree with you. If I did wear it, it would definitely be concealed. I guess my main question was stemming from the occasional time that say my shirt hikes up when I reach for something, etc.. I would never go out of my way to draw attention, I respect their time as much as my own. I just don't want to be in that rare situation where it would become visible, and then find out that I am committing a violation that is easily preventable.

    I'll likely take the safer approach here and just keep it in my pocket, but I always like learning more of the details like this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Western Hemisphere
    Posts
    541
    What about the Columbia River Knife Tool (CRKT) neck/belt knives? They're less than 3" blades and deadly as hell if you know knife fighting. However, I don't know the "blade length law" in the state of NYC...
    Stay safe!

    FedAgent


 

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