Governor David A. Paterson, on June 7, 2008, signed into law a bill introduced by Senator Andrew Lanza (R – Staten Island) and Assemblyman Michael Spano (D – Yonkers) to prohibit the possession of plastic knuckles. Chapter 257 of the Laws of New York will include plastic knuckles within the same criminal offenses as metal (brass) knuckles.
Plastic knuckles, just like brass knuckles, slide over one’s fingers to create a harder striking surface on the fist. These potentially lethal weapons, which sell for as little as $5 on the Internet, have just as much impact as the brass knuckle and are just as deadly. Because these weapons are plastic they will not set off metal detectors and remain virtually undetected.
“This law proactively addresses the innovations of potential criminals,” said Senator Lanza. “Plastic knuckles are the modern incarnation of brass knuckles and pose a threat to our safety because they are undetectable. In a post 9-11 world we must have the necessary tools to prosecute those attempting to bring weapons, metal or plastic, into our airports, governmental buildings or schools.”
“Plastic knuckles are an undetectable, deadly weapon which people are using now because they can easily get through security checkpoints,” Spano said. “These plastic knuckles are being sold for as little as $5 on the internet and anyone can purchase them. This was a common sense piece of legislation which will protect the residents of this state. Since they are plastic, these weapons will go unnoticed by metal detectors in places such as schools, government buildings, and airports. This new law will give law enforcement officials the ability to charge anyone found in possession of these dangerous weapons,” said Assemblyman Mike Spano.
This law amends the Penal Law to include any person who manufactures Plastic Knuckles guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and any person who transports or ships Plastic Knuckles guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.