NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new push has been launched to reform New York state law against gravity knives.

As WCBS 880’s Myles Miller reported, the latest push comes in response to President Donald Trump’s immigration reform efforts, in which minor arrests can trigger immigration arrests.

State Assemblyman Dan Quart (D-Manhattan) is pushing for amendments to the law, which is 50 years old.

“A disproportionate number of African-American and Latino people are being prosecuted and arrested for this crime as compared to the area and percentages of their numbers within that ZIP code,” he said.

The Village Voice reported the law was initially intended to ban large knives that resemble switchblades, but it has been applied in more recent years to common knives with folding blades that can be purchased at hardware stores.

Legal Aid Society data show that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office prosecuted 254 cases involving gravity knives in 2015.

Vance’s office has said most gravity knife cases end with the cases being thrown out.


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