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Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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Hi I am recently discharged from the USMC. I was given a single

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I am recently discharged from the USMC. I was given a single edge 3 1/2 in benchmade balisong (butterfly knife) by my special forces instructor. He has since passed on. The knife holds much sentimental value as well as a great knife. I recently found that eventhough in NY it is not considered an automatic or gravity knife....some cops might still have an issue. According from what I have read in the penal law, it states ANY weapon can be viewed as a deadly weapon even a pocket knife. I currently carry this daily and cannot bring myself to part with it. I am a very mild manner person, I cooperate fully with the law. I have no legal record and am a disabled vet. I also am not a jackass nor do I dress like one. How much of an issue would I have with this if a cop saw me use it for (opening boxes, work, holding, ect)
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer and thank you for your service.

Are you asking about carrying and using it in NYC or outside of the city?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no....not in NYC

outside....I live near these areas: Binghamton, Albany, Oneonta.

I do know in the city its a diff story

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
Ok, under the New York statute (see link below) some knives are illegal to carry under any circumstances. Those are a: gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, and metal knuckle knife. I'm no expert on knives, but it does not sound to me that your knife falls into any of those categories.

Other weapons are illegal to carry IF you do so "with intent to use the same unlawfully against another." Those include: any dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol, or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon.

It's hard to imagine a knife that could not be considered potentially "dangerous" but it is not illegal to carry under NY state law unless you have an unlawful intent. Note that some cities and towns may have municipal ordinances that are stricter than the state law the same way NYC's ordinances are. If you are in a particular town or city, I would call the local police department or sheriff's office and ask them what the city ordinances on carrying knives are.

If a police officer sees a knife, particularly a butterfly knife which is more unusual and menacing looking than a typical pocket knife, you are likely to gain some attention even though it is not illegal. You should not be arrested if you are using it in a responsible manner.
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