OPINION OF THE COURT
LOUIS L. NOCK, J.
The defendant moves, pursuant to CPL 170.30 (1) (a) and 170.35 (1) (c), to dismiss the information by challenging the constitutionality of the sole count in the information — Penal Law § 265.01 (1), criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree — to the extent that it criminalizes the possession of gravity knives, in the aftermath of the United States Supreme Court's opinion in Caetano v Massachusetts (577 US ___, 136 S.Ct. 1027 ). For the reasons set forth herein, the motion is denied.
Defendant was arraigned January 28, 2016, upon an information charging him with a sole count of Penal Law § 265.01 (1), criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, for possession of a gravity knife.
Defendant initially served his motion to dismiss on March 30, 2016. By decision and order dated June 16, 2016, this court denied the motion without prejudice, for defendant's failure to satisfy an essential prerequisite to substantive disposition of the motion — service on the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York, as mandated by Executive Law § 71 (see People v Sosa-Lopez, 52 Misc.3d 1203[A], 2016 NY Slip Op 50970[U] [Crim Ct, NY County 2016]). On June 22, 2016, defendant filed an amended motion, which included service on the Attorney General. On September 1, 2016, the Attorney General's Office reported that it would not intervene in this matter, paving the way for this court's substantive disposition of the instant motion (see Executive Law § 71).
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Caetano is, practically speaking, a sequel to its decision in District of Columbia v Heller (554 U.S. 570 ). Heller affirmed a District of Columbia Circuit Court determination to invalidate, on Second Amendment grounds, a D.C. law banning all possession of handguns, including those kept in one's home, and requiring
Any analysis by any court of any challenge to any legislative enactment must begin with a recognition of the strong presumption of constitutionality accorded all legislative enactments. Penal Law § 265.01 (1), like all other legislative enactments, is "supported by a presumption of validity so strong as to demand of those who attack them a demonstration of invalidity beyond a reasonable doubt, and the courts strike them down only as a last unavoidable result" (Matter of Van Berkel v Power, 16 N.Y.2d 37, 40 ; see also People v Davis, 43 N.Y.2d 17 , cert denied 435 U.S. 998 ). "The substantial burden of proving unconstitutionality beyond a reasonable doubt rests with a statute's antagonist" (People v Scalza, 76 N.Y.2d 604, 607 ; see also People v Stuart, 100 N.Y.2d 412, 422  ["legislative enactments carry a strong presumption of constitutionality"]).
In addition to the aforesaid presumption of constitutionality accorded all legislative enactments, generally: particular enactments that were fundamentally intended to protect public safety, in the form of a specific weapon prohibition, are subject to yet another factor weighing against a declaration of constitutional invalidity; to wit, the U.S. Supreme Court's express acknowledgment — even in Heller — that the right to bear arms is subject to reasonable regulation pursuant to a state's police power (see Heller at 620-622; see also Bach v Pataki, 408 F.3d 75 [2d Cir 2005], cert denied 546 U.S. 1174 ). New York's prohibition against gravity knives appears to have been intended to be precisely such an exercise of reasonable regulation — at the time of its enactment in 1958. The New York State Legislature in 1958 did not prohibit all knives; but
Thus, even mindful of Caetano: given the foregoing legislative intent, as applied to the cultural circumstances prevalent at the time of the law's enactment in 1958, this court is constrained to conclude that the current New York statute prohibiting the possession of gravity knives, narrowly tailored as such,
Consequently, the court is constrained by applicable law to deny defendant's motion to dismiss the information on asserted constitutional grounds.
The "Court's role is to interpret a statute. It is not to rewrite it." (Reynoso v Aviles, 87 F.Supp.3d 549, 556 [SD NY 2015].) That role is reserved to the legislature, for ultimate approval by the executive. Our state legislature recently passed a bill (2015 NY Senate-Assembly Bill S06483, A09042)
The Sponsors' Memorandum for S06483/A09042 suggests the following justification for the proposed change:
As expounded on hereinabove: at present, the current prohibition on gravity knives (subject to possible change in the event of enactment of the foregoing legislative bill) does not violate threshold constitutional principles, even in the after-math of Caetano v Massachusetts (577 US ___, 136 S.Ct. 1027 ). That, and that alone, was the sole issue legitimately before this court. Any possible revision of the current law involving gravity knives in New York lies within the exclusive provinces of the legislature and the executive, not the judiciary, which is solely charged to interpret and apply current law as it exists at the time of presentment to the court.
For the reasons stated herein, it is hereby ordered that the defendant's motion to dismiss the information is denied.