The application of New York State’s law banning so-called gravity knives by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. was found unconstitutionally vague by a federal judge in Manhattan, who said in an opinion enjoining the statute that it presented “a high risk of arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.”

Senior Judge Paul Crotty of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said the statute failed to provide both clarity for an individual to know whether the knife she sought to carry was, in fact, a gravity knife. This vagueness allowed police and prosecutors far too much discretion in prosecuting gravity knife cases in a manner Crotty called unclear and inconsistent.

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