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Thread: Knife Rights Alert: Ocean City, MD, Bans Assisted Openers in "Emergency" Ordinance

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User critter's Avatar
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    Exclamation Knife Rights Alert: Ocean City, MD, Bans Assisted Openers in "Emergency" Ordinance

    Why Knife Law Preemption is Knife Rights' Priority: Stupidity Reigns in Ocean City, MD - Bans Assisted Openers in "Emergency" Ordinance

    The Ocean City, Maryland, City Council unanimously passed an ordinance banning assisted openers on Monday, May 19, at the request of Police Chief, Ross Buzzuro. We had to double check the spelling -- it seems it should be "Bizarre-O." The "emergency" ordinance banning assisted openers is effective immediately.

    Buzzaro is quoted in the local newspaper, The Dispatch, as saying, "There is no need for this particular item (assisted opening knives)and we are requesting prohibition of it and the sale of it on the Boardwalk and throughout the town. We think it is in the best interest of public safety. We are seeing an increase in weapons on our day-to-day dealings that are a danger to all, and we believe it will better serve not having them available in town."

    Buzzaro (as well as the city council members) is apparently one of those irrational types who think that inanimate objects somehow create criminal activity. As usual, we are at a loss to understand how the manner in which a folding knife opens has any bearing on criminal activity. So-called "Fighting Knives," which could be construed to include knives with a serrated blade, along with Butterfly Knives,"Fighting Swords" and "Fighting Axes" were previously outlawed in Ocean City, so under that logic, their crime problems should already be solved, right?

    The Definitions ordinance (Sec. 58-121) defines an "assisted opening knife" as a knife which uses an "internal mechanism, such as a spring, tension spring or mechanical device to fully open the blade once the user has depressed the flipper or thumb stud attached to the blade." That bit of ingenious legislative drafting is not quite right in terms of actual operation, but it is unlikely that any judge in the jurisdiction will care.

    The Prohibited Acts ordinance (Sec. 58-123) now reads, "It shall be unlawful for any person to display, possess, sell, barter, offer to sell, distribute, manufacture, give away, transfer or dispose of an assisted opening knife, nunchaku, a fighting knife, a throwing star, a spiked wristband, a spiked fistband, a spiked glove, a flail mace, a butterfly knife, a spiked belt, a spike ring, metal knuckles, baton, fighting ax, fighting sword, pistol crossbow, or any part thereof, assembled or unassembled. As used herein, "person" includes individual, partnership, corporation or any other entity. The prohibitions relative to assisted opening knife and baton do not apply to officers of the Ocean City Police Department, The Maryland State Police, the Natural Resources Police, the Worcester County Sheriff's Department and any allied police department providing assistance in Ocean City. The prohibition relative to assisted opening knife does not apply to members of the Ocean City Fire Department and EMS, while on duty."

    It is a misdemeanor subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment of up to six months or both.

    Maryland is an interesting state with regards to its knife laws. It has no state prohibition on any type of knife possession or any knife carried openly (except for minors or "with the intent or purpose of injuring an individual in unlawful manner" - a vague standard subject to abuse). However, only "a penknife without a switchblade" can be carried concealed. Without Knife Law Preemption, however, cities are free to enact their own ordinances more restrictive than state law. So, to add to the Bizarre-O situation in Ocean City, it appears you would be legal to walk down the Boardwalk with an automatic knife carried openly, but not an assisted-opening knife.

    This situation in Ocean City is exactly why Knife Rights' primary legislative goal is passage of Knife Law Preemption. Knife Law Preemption prevents local jurisdictions from enacting any law or ordinance more restrictive than state law. It eliminates and prevents a patchwork of local restrictions that serve only to trap unwary citizens.

    Knife Rights passed the nation's first Knife Law Preemption bill in Arizona in 2010. Since then we have passed Knife law Preemption in Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Utah. Knife Rights currently has Knife Law Preemption bills running in South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia. In Oklahoma, Knife Rights' Knife Law Preemption bill was vetoed recently by Governor Mary Fallin after passing by overwhelming majorities in the House, 88-3, and in the Senate, 45-1, having been caught in a spat between the Governor and the Speaker of the House unrelated to our legislation.

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  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Strong-Dog's Avatar
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    hahahahahahaha
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User phillipsted's Avatar
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    While I don't support these type of misguided bans, I can see the Police Chief's point. If you've been down to the boardwalk in the past few years, you've undoubtedly noticed in the boardwalk shops the proliferation of cheap chinese assisted openers, as well as balisongs and other mall ninja gear. During the hot, crowded weekend nights on the boardwalk the beer and booze flow freely - and the mixture with easily accessible "weapons" can be difficult to control.

    As usual in these situations - the problem is REAL. But the solution targeted by OC probably won't be effective, and it impinges on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

    TedP
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Strong-Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillipsted View Post
    While I don't support these type of misguided bans, I can see the Police Chief's point. If you've been down to the boardwalk in the past few years, you've undoubtedly noticed in the boardwalk shops the proliferation of cheap chinese assisted openers, as well as balisongs and other mall ninja gear. During the hot, crowded weekend nights on the boardwalk the beer and booze flow freely - and the mixture with easily accessible "weapons" can be difficult to control.

    As usual in these situations - the problem is REAL. But the solution targeted by OC probably won't be effective, and it impinges on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

    TedP
    I'm not seeing a problem. And I'm definitely not seeing something that needs to be "controlled".
    Q: What was the most positive result of the "Cash for clunkers"
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User StuntZombie's Avatar
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    I have a feeling the bigger issue is the minors getting their hands on the assisted openers. I don't see why they cant just fine the folks that sell them to the minors, seems like that would raise more revenue for the department.
    Chris

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User chuck_roxas45's Avatar
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    It's a typical knee jerk reaction. We see a lot of stupid knee jerk reaction here in the Philippines, so I'm used to that. One time a gang used hammers to break jewelry display cases in a mall. Well, the authorities banned hammers in malls. Brilliant solution.
    Trust those who seek the truth, but doubt those who say they've found it.



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  7. #7
    Spyderco Forum Registered User phillipsted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strong-Dog View Post
    I'm not seeing a problem. And I'm definitely not seeing something that needs to be "controlled".
    You haven't been to OC on a hot summer night with huge crowds of drunken rednecks, fratboys, and Baltimorons roaming the boardwalk. I won't take my kids down there some nights - it gets a bit too wild. The situation is already pretty volatile... That's the problem...

    I've got no problem with knives - you know that. I just object to the police trying to solve the problem by pushing the wrong lever.

    TedP

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Evil D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strong-Dog View Post
    I'm not seeing a problem. And I'm definitely not seeing something that needs to be "controlled".
    There are definitely situations where I wouldn't feel comfortable around a bunch of drunken hard asses with knives. I tend to avoid those situations, but I can understand a cop's perspective. They are given very few options to deal with these kinds of issues. This isn't the solution but there certainly is a problem and nobody else ever helps to find a solution.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Pinetreebbs's Avatar
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    Why not set up check points with fences funneling people through metal detectors, they could remove guns, knives, food or drinks. Keep all visitors safe and force them them to buy from local establishments. The TSA would probably be happy to help them plan their security.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User SpyderEdgeForever's Avatar
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    I understand both sides on this and similiar issues, but let me ask you a question. I am not saying there was a mythical "good old days" in America, like some have said in the past, when everyone was kind and peaceful to each other, because there wasn't. But, even with the bad things that happened back then (I am referring to America in the 1790-1960 period), guns and knives and swords were cheaper than today, and there were almost no laws (except in some cases such as the Anti Bowie Knife laws of the 1800s and the few spikes of violence, like during the 1920s-1930s Prohibition/Depression/Gangster period), and yet in general you did not have mass school shootings or crazy mass murders. Yes, there were murderers and even serial killers and the whole range of evil and some may respond with, "It was just not as publicized as today", but, it seems to me that overall people had a stronger framework of family values and you could walk safely almost anywhere (yes, I know, there were always the drunken violent desperado types in some areas) and even the "drunk outlaws" in general had respect for women and children and men who were not bothering them. What do you say happened to change this? We saw no anti knife bans and anti gun bans back them like we see today.

  11. #11
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Evil D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderEdgeForever View Post
    I understand both sides on this and similiar issues, but let me ask you a question. I am not saying there was a mythical "good old days" in America, like some have said in the past, when everyone was kind and peaceful to each other, because there wasn't. But, even with the bad things that happened back then (I am referring to America in the 1790-1960 period), guns and knives and swords were cheaper than today, and there were almost no laws (except in some cases such as the Anti Bowie Knife laws of the 1800s and the few spikes of violence, like during the 1920s-1930s Prohibition/Depression/Gangster period), and yet in general you did not have mass school shootings or crazy mass murders. Yes, there were murderers and even serial killers and the whole range of evil and some may respond with, "It was just not as publicized as today", but, it seems to me that overall people had a stronger framework of family values and you could walk safely almost anywhere (yes, I know, there were always the drunken violent desperado types in some areas) and even the "drunk outlaws" in general had respect for women and children and men who were not bothering them. What do you say happened to change this? We saw no anti knife bans and anti gun bans back them like we see today.
    Mentalities were just different back then. I think as a whole people had more respect for others than they do today. The further back in history you go, the better the chance is that if you were in a crowd of people drunk and you pulled a knife, someone would either shoot and kill you or someone else with a knife would take you down, right then and there. Today that kind of thing doesn't happen except in rare cases. The judicial system has stopped a lot of the instant justice that kept people in line years ago. A couple hundred years ago everyone carried a gun of some sort and if you attacked someone you would probably get shot and killed. This didn't eliminate violence but I think it definitely made people think twice. You could go anywhere and buy a gun if you had the money, no background check, no age restriction. But then, capital punishment was pretty swift too. If you came into town and shot someone, chances are that if you didn't get shot in return, the local militia etc would eventually gun you down or capture you and hang you, usually within days of the initial act. These days you get a lawyer and a trial and even then if you're sentenced to death you're gonna spend 20 years on death row..which never made much sense to me.

    Now we can't ever go back to those days, again because the mentality of people has changed. Not to mention along with all of this, the population itself has increased so much it's ridiculous. Think about the size of the average town in America in the 1700-1800s vs. today. Even major cities like New York didn't have a fraction of the number of people they have today. When you increase the population, you increase the odds that some of those people are more inclined to do crazy stuff, especially when drunk. Another thing is public intoxication wasn't near as common back then. You had saloons and you had your drunks, but you didn't have people going clubbing at all hours of the night drunk out of their minds. That kind of behavior just wasn't tolerated. Even beyond intoxication, people seem to have a much higher self entitlement than they had years ago, even within this century.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    I'm sure the Chief and city council are all anti gun as well or they wouldn't be passing such nonsense when most states here in the South are even repealing their switchblade laws.

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    I think there is yet another factor in why the extremes in violence, mass school shootings, and crazy mass murders seem more commonplace in recent years in America compared to the mythical “good old days”. A big factor is the nature of a belief in a so called “higher power”.

    It is a virtually Godless society now for most people where the government is the “higher power” .

    For a seeming majority of people today the “higher power” that dispenses morality and justice is the government, and the government’s arms of enforcement; law enforcement, and the courts. Things are right and wrong based on what the government says they are; and more practically, what people can get away with. So if the government says a tool such as a certain type of knife is now illegal, it’s illegal. If the government says the knife is illegal and the police don’t enforce the law then the law doesn’t mean much and you are still good to go.

    However, if the "higher power” is an all-knowing God, then in the long run it doesn’t really matter if the police catch you or not in violating one of God’s laws. Eventually God with deal with you even if the police are ineffective in enforcing the law. The good side of this of course is if the government passes a silly law that doesn’t violate God’s law than you don’t need to worry about God punishing you for violating a stupid knife ordinance.

    If God has say 10 laws and today’s government has 60,000 laws, it is sure the government will have a harder time than God in not getting screwed up (unless you’ve created your own god as your "higher power" and you happen to be confused)


    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderEdgeForever View Post
    I understand both sides on this and similiar issues, but let me ask you a question. I am not saying there was a mythical "good old days" in America, like some have said in the past, when everyone was kind and peaceful to each other, because there wasn't. But, even with the bad things that happened back then (I am referring to America in the 1790-1960 period), guns and knives and swords were cheaper than today, and there were almost no laws (except in some cases such as the Anti Bowie Knife laws of the 1800s and the few spikes of violence, like during the 1920s-1930s Prohibition/Depression/Gangster period), and yet in general you did not have mass school shootings or crazy mass murders. Yes, there were murderers and even serial killers and the whole range of evil and some may respond with, "It was just not as publicized as today", but, it seems to me that overall people had a stronger framework of family values and you could walk safely almost anywhere (yes, I know, there were always the drunken violent desperado types in some areas) and even the "drunk outlaws" in general had respect for women and children and men who were not bothering them. What do you say happened to change this? We saw no anti knife bans and anti gun bans back them like we see today.
    “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:22 KJV

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User SpyderEdgeForever's Avatar
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    I agree with you UpDok and think that is a very true factor.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Greg Walker's Avatar
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    Well, it's all pretty crazy, indeed.

    Happy as all get-out not to live in MD...New York...MA...Vermont...CONN...

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Jeremy_A_Neel's Avatar
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    I don't get it. They're a novelty, but they're not more dangerous than any other knife. Just about any knife with a hole or a thumb stud can be opened as fast as an auto or assisted opener, so banning assisted opening knives is very much retarded.
    "If you have a difficult task, give it to a lazy person - they will find an easier way to do it." -Hlade's Law

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Mastiff's Avatar
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    I'd like to know how many attacks and violent acts have been recorded using these problem weapons. Is there a real problem or a "could happen" problem? I see no reports or statistics in the article.

    Even if there are more assaults it's pretty much always the easy way out of solving problems. Instead of attacking and dialoging about the culture that glorifies violence and law breaking it's sure much easier to call the people victims of their environment and blame the guns and knives. Then demonize the makers, sellers and owners who lawfully do business in that field. In the mean time tell the criminals it's not their fault, they are victims of a war against them and for sure make examples of those who attempt to protect their families.

    If you want to get anywhere nationally in politics you need to buy into this and become a champion of the people, a protector of the middle class and a true progressive icon.

    Allright... everybody sing:
    Watch dog bark on a hot summer night,
    kill my landlord, kill my landlord,
    watch dog bark, though he bite,
    kill my landlord, kill my landlord,
    slip in his window, break his neck,
    then his house I start to wreck,
    got no reason, what the heck!
    kill my landlord, kill my landlord,
    C-I-L-L my landlord.
    Then get into your limo and have your armed bodyguards hand you the mirror and the straw, do some lines and go you to your mistresses house for the evening. Then to work in the morning where the instructions on how to vote on what bill are ready and waiting for you. Good thing too. Imagine having to read through all those pages of legal talk before voting.

    Then a 1:00 pm photo op with some group or other before an award ceremony at 5:00PM. Thank heaven for artifical stimulants.....
    Last edited by The Mastiff; 05-27-2014 at 04:30 AM.
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  18. #18
    Spyderco Forum Registered User demoncase's Avatar
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    Ah the age old comedy:

    It's not the idiot holding the sharpened edge creating the problem-
    it's the way that sharpened edge is deployed from the handle that's the problem.
    Nothing in his pockets except knives and lint....

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