DA Finds "Widespread" Illegal Knife Sales in Major Retailers

Thursday, Jun 17, 2010  |  Updated 4:45 PM EDT
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DA Finds "Widespread" Illegal Knife Sales in Major Retailers

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Example of an illegal knife. Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance has accused seven New York companies of selling illegal knives. (17 June 2010)

Seven NY retailers have been selling illegal knives, according to a report by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance released today.

In order to avoid prosecution, the sellers, which include Home Depot, Eastern Mountain Sports, and Paragon Sports, have agreed to turn over all such knives and all profits accrued from their sale over the past four years, approximately $1.9 million dollars.

Examples of such illegal knives include gravity knives and switchblades, which are "with very limited exception, illegal to sell, own or carry in the state," said the release.

Further, the seven companies are obliged to "finance a campaign to educate the public about illegal knives," and the DA's office will now include a "Knife Sales Monitor" who will ensure the companies' cooperation.

According to the DA's office, illegal knives are an increasingly serious problem, and although violent crime in NYC has decreased in the past decade, knife violence has increased.

Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer called knife violence a "growing epidemic," saying "our city has gone [to] great lengths to get guns off our streets, but illegal knives pose just as large a problem and can be just as deadly."

The next phase of the investigation will look into out-of-state knife sales to New York residents.  "Those companies are opening themselves to prosecution to the fullest extent of the law," the press release states.

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