Colton’s Undetectable Knives Ban Bill Gets Gov’s Rubber Stamp

Assembly Member William Colton at a rally last summer (Image by Zainab Iqbal/ Bklyner)

SOUTHERN BROOKLYN — A bill pushed by a Brooklyn politician that bans the possession and production of undetectable knives was signed into law Tuesday.

The measure— which is aimed at preventing people from evading detection of metal detectors by carrying knives made from materials like carbon fiber and ceramic— was first introduced in 2013 by Assembly Member Wiliam Colton of southern Brooklyn.

“This legislation will make schools with a metal detector safer and it will prevent these plastic weapons which are sharp as a razor and sturdy enough to pierce a metal drum from being passed through the metal detectors,” Colton, who represents, Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Dyker Heights, said Wednesday. “It will also make any government or private buildings which are secured by metal detectors safer, and it also demonstrates that a suggestion made to me by a constituent has led into a law being passed.”

Bills A.4816 and S.4202, which passed in the Assembly and Senate respectively during the 2019 session, make carrying an undetectable knife a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. Law enforcement officials and members of the military are exempt from the law, which takes effect on November 1.

“Undetectable knives are meant to be used by trained members of our police and military forces for covert operations — not regular civilians attempting to sneak weapons past metal detectors,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed the bill after it passed the senate, said Tuesday. “By signing this measure into law, we will keep these deadly knives out of dangerous hands and help ensure our airports, courtrooms and other public buildings are safe.”

State Senator Diane Sevino— who represents parts of southern Brooklyn and sponsored her chamber’s version of the legislation— said undetectable knives “expose a major loophole, presenting a severe security risk to any building that utilizes a metal detector for the prevention of violence or possible terrorist acts.”

“I thank my legislative colleagues for supporting this bill and applaud Governor Cuomo for signing this into law,” she added.

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Sam Raskin

Sam Raskin has reported for Politico New York, Gotham Gazette, Gothamist and Curbed New York.

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