Ban Machetes! Oh Wait . . .

Our main man Dan’s already called for a ban on axes, what with axe-wielding madman wielding axes against the police. His ironic point: banning weapons doesn’t reduce violent crime. In terms of guns, the more difficult you make it for Americans to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms (in the name of public safety no less), the easier it is for criminals to predate on disarmed citizens. Equally, the more you ban weapons that can be used in self-defense, the more you ban weapons that can be used for self-defense. Students of slippery slopes need only look at the U.K.’s draconian knife laws. Or New York City, where any knife that can be opened with gravity (not gravitas) is illegal. Speaking of the City That Never Sleeps, there’s now a call for a ban on machetes . . .

Just last month, a deranged thug pulled out a machete he had stashed in an umbrella, and hacked away at another man at a Bronx taco joint, cops said.

It wasn’t some urban anomaly — the gory incident is one of at least 24 incidents involving machetes over the past five years, The New York Post found.

“They’re cheap to buy and easy to get,” one law-enforcement source said of the 1- to 2-foot-long knives. “And with the easing off of stop-and-frisk, if guys are not getting patted down as much, they might be more brazen and carry them in their jacket or hide them in their pants.”

In the city, machetes — agricultural tools used to clear brush or crack open a coconut — are wielded by lunatics, crooks and gangbangers such as the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, to intimidate rivals. They’re even used by store owners to defend their businesses.

Nice how they slipped that self-defense thing in, eh? Anyway, here we go . . .

Possessing a switchblade or gravity knife — considered weapons in the state penal code — can land a person in jail, but carrying a machete in public would likely only result in a ticket, according to Eugene O’Donnell, a law and police-studies professor at John Jay College. “You get a ticket on the grounds that the blade is more than 4 inches,” which is a city administrative-code violation, O’Donnell said. A violator would have to show up at court and face a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail or a few hundred dollars fine.

The slap on the wrist is troublesome, he said.

“It’s a loophole that is very favorable to a person with prior criminal history who would presumably know to pick weapons that are not prohibited,” he said. “It’s certainly cause for concern because of the brutal injuries you can cause someone. It really should be looked at.”

And after a spate of machete attacks in 2008, then-Brooklyn Councilwoman Diana Reyna talked about a citywide machete ban, but the legislation never came to pass. Reyna, now the deputy Brooklyn borough president, told The Post the blades should not be sold to anyone under 21 years old.

“The opportunity to restrict the volume of machetes on the streets of New York City is important,” she said. “There’s a responsibility behind using such a tool.”

As for the previously mentioned idea of owning and using a machete for self-defense (in a city where a law-abiding citizen has a better chance of dating Barbara Palvin than getting a concealed carry permit) . . .

Machetes can offer a good defense too — after Hurricane Sandy, some Coney Island residents, such as Roberto Aviles, used their trusty blades to defend their homes against looters when the power went out.

“Machetes come from our country — Puerto Rico,” Aviles, 77 said. “People from there use them a lot. It’s like a souvenir there. They use it to cut the sugar cane.”

“I don’t use it for anything anymore,” he said. “I put it away.”

No one messed with him in the tense weeks after Sandy, but he’s not giving his machete all the credit.

“When people want to do something to you, nothing will scare them.”

And if you can’t scare them, you better do something to stop them, right? That’s just plain common sense! [h/t DD]


  1. avatar Toby in KS says:

    Chancho: Nacho! Where are you going?
    Nacho: There is no place for me in this world, Chanchito. I don’t belong out there and I don’t belong in here, so I’m going into the wilderness, probably to die.
    Chancho: Well, you might need this. My mother gave it to me before she died. It was her lucky machete. You can have it.
    Nacho: I hope to see you again, little Chancho. Maybe in the next life.

    1. avatar IdahoPete says:

      Based solely on that trailer, “Machete” has to rank in one of the top ten most ridiculous films ever made.

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    Wow New York sucks. So my 3 dollar machete could land me in JAIL? Yikes 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      DC is worse. Remember Mark Witaschek? He was the guy convicted for possessing ammunition for an unregistered firearm, because he had muzzleloader bullets (i.e. lead spheres)…even though DC doesn’t register black powder guns as firearms.

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        imagine the charges if he had a bigger lead sphere! or a cast iron ball! CANNON AMMUNITION! Terrorist charges and sent of to our own private hell hole in Cuba for sure. And myth busters puts a cannon ball across a freeway, thru several houses and a minivan in CA… i think cannons are cool, but I would want a scud, cause rockets are cooler. or a buzz bomb, imagine the racket those make just by flying. pulse-jet engine FTW.

      2. avatar ChrisB. says:

        Witashek needs to appeal. The fact that DC law explicitly states any adult can possess a black powder gun, but are not allowed to register them in DC, given DC tying ammunition possession to registered gun possession made his prosecution for an lead projectile an absurd catch 22.

  3. avatar Taylor TX says:

    I guess someone was paying attention to all of our _____ control jokes after all. Can we change the term from “the city that never sleeps” to “the city that never stops doing stupid shit?”

    an interesting link I found while searching for the origin of the machete:

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    New York, the City That Never Thinks.

  5. avatar Scrubula says:

    The slap on the wrist loophole? Someone tell me why other knives should have been banned in the first place… A piece of paper doesn’t stop gang members from stabbing people and if the only thing someone is suspicious of is carrying a knife they probably shouldn’t have been detained in the first place.

    1. avatar SleeStac says:

      Actually no! When New York passed the law outlawing gravity knives, violence with the use of those weapons stopped! That is why New York is the safest city in the world. They passed all of those laws you see. /sarc

      Out of character: did you catch the dig in the article about stop and frisk? “Now that we can’t go out and pat down people on the streets, they are going to start carrying around machetes and hacking people up.” Do the police in NYC really believe this? How can they take themselves seriously?

  6. avatar LJM says:

    Restaurant owners better watch out, chef knives and sushi knives will be next. For the children!

  7. avatar JaxD says:

    I got hassled coming off a subway by 2 cops. My offense: had a folding utility knife clipped to my pocket. Good thing I and it were covered in drywall dust, they believed it was for work. Otherwise, off to the pokey. Ran me for warrants, kept my knife.
    Now I live in Florida, carry an LC9 and an automatic (switchblade) knife every day. Nobody cares. Don’t regret moving one bit.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Wow! Thanx for sharing. Not that I was considering a move to NY…

  8. avatar defensor fortisimo says:

    This isn’t even the first time this has happened. Look at the Philippines, the Spanish tried to ban edged weapons so folks just carried work blades such as bolos in plain sight and practiced with sticks right under their noses. My prediction is that this will lead to the evolution of a martial art indigenous to new york known as Trego

  9. avatar DaveL says:

    It’s a loophole that is very favorable to a person with prior criminal history who would presumably know to pick weapons that are not prohibited

    So your concern is that habitual criminals will follow the law? Can’t have people knowing the law, they might not break it!

  10. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    Wait so New York is acknowledging that people with prior criminal history pick other weapons to attack, kill, or just intimidate people when they can’t get a gun (several times at that). Did the world end last night?

  11. avatar ThomasR says:

    In New Mexico, any knife I can legally own, I can OC legally in public.

    So I can OC a pistol and even a machete legally, as long as they are not concealed.

    I love New Mexico!

    All we need is Constitutional Carry, and it would be the perfect desert paradise.

  12. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Ban scrap steel, grinders and athletic tape! It’s for the children!

  13. avatar ChrisB. says:

    NYC pols are freaking out because the crime rate is now going up compared to the national trend.

    No matter how you feel about “stop and frisk” constitutionality, it was the direct cause of a massive drop in crime in NYC. They caught 20,000 persons who had skipped bail or bond for prior violent felonies alone. That is not even counting the 55,000 other criminals convicted though stop and frisk they caught braking the law.

    About 20% of those people are now out and crime is rising.

    Bloomberg’s and NYC’s draconian gun control never reduced crime one iota.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      “No matter how you feel about “stop and frisk” constitutionality, it was the direct cause of a massive drop in crime in NYC. They caught 20,000 persons who had skipped bail or bond for prior violent felonies alone.”

      True, but it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Get a grip. The constitutional equivalent is everybody carries a gun. Everybody! Try to picture a criminal doing anything whatsoever, surrounded by a thousand armed people. One of those situations is legal under our constitution, the other is not.

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