Life just got a lot less convenient for stabby folks who stock up on blades at the local hardware store. After the Manhattan D.A. launched a new initiative to get knives off the streets, investigators discovered illegal switchblades and gravity knives at 41 stores, ranging from mom-and-pop stores to chain behemoths like Home Depot. Now two national chain stores and five other operations have agreed to stop selling the items. These companies, as well as the 34 others implicated in the bust, handed over their existing stock and $1.9 million—their total profits from the weapons.
Three thousand people were arrested last year for possessing illegal knives, including "switchblades, gravity knives, daggers, stilettos and knives with blades 4 inches in length or longer," and a third of all homicides in 2009 and 2010 so far were committed with knives. Yesterday the DA showed some videos of undercover investigators buying the knives; when they asked whether they could get in trouble for carrying such wares, one salesman responded, "It depends if the cop is in a bad mood." Another brazenly flicked open a knife and joked, "I've almost taken my fingers off with this one!"