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Thread: Nunchaku Legality

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    Nunchaku Legality

    Quoted from Wiki
    Legality

    Possession of nunchaku is illegal in a number of countries, including Canada, Germany, Norway, Spain, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom (anti-nunchaku laws in the UK were loosened somewhat in 1991, however media scenes with nunchaku were still edited out by censors until 2002). Legality in the United States varies at state level, e.g. personal possession of nunchaku is illegal in New York, Arizona, California and Massachusetts, but in other states possession is not criminalized. Legality in Australia is also determined by individual state laws. In New South Wales, the weapon is on the restricted weapons list, and thus can only be owned with a permi
    I've always wondered, why are Nunchaku illegal in so many states and countries? I can understand it being illegal to carry around with you or into a store or bank, but why is it illegal to simply own? I have used the nunchaku before and really, I don't see what makes them so dangerous. Of course, they are weapons after all, but so is a bayonet, and so is a rifle, but apparently those are legal.

    I find the nunchaku to be a beautiful piece of artwork rather than as an offensive weapon, as I view all martial arts. And I can't comprehend why they would be illegal in the first place. And I am certain that there are many other's out there who feel the same way I do.

    So could someone shed some light on this matter?

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    Quote Originally Posted by Super_Noob View Post
    Quoted from Wiki


    I've always wondered, why are Nunchaku illegal in so many states and countries? I can understand it being illegal to carry around with you or into a store or bank, but why is it illegal to simply own? I have used the nunchaku before and really, I don't see what makes them so dangerous. Of course, they are weapons after all, but so is a bayonet, and so is a rifle, but apparently those are legal.

    I find the nunchaku to be a beautiful piece of artwork rather than as an offensive weapon, as I view all martial arts. And I can't comprehend why they would be illegal in the first place. And I am certain that there are many other's out there who feel the same way I do.

    So could someone shed some light on this matter?
    Within the US, most states don't ban ownership or training with nunchaku, but they may restrict where you can possess them or how you can carry them. In my state, you can't carry them as a concealed, accessable weapon, but you may own them, train with them either in a school or on your own, and, technically, even carry them openly (just expect some interested police officers to have a discussion with you). Most cops would likely distinguish between carrying them in a gym bag with other martial arts equipment from placed in a backpack in such a way as to be easily drawn.

    Why are there laws about them? My guess would be that there are two factors at play. First -- I bet someone along the way was carrying them with nefarious intent. As an example of this sort of reaction, in VA, it's now specifically illegal to carry machetes concealed because gang members were doing so, and using them to assault people. Second -- there's long been a propaganda effort aimed at some martial arts weapons. Many years ago, 60 Minutes did a piece showing how dangerous some martial arts weapons were. Black Belt magazine responded with an editorial where they showed that many household items were at least equally dangerous, subjected to the same test of "deadliness" that was used on TV. Unfortunately, politicians often respond to the noisiest folks, not the folks who are most correct or have the most reasoned viewpoints.

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    Quote Originally Posted by Super_Noob View Post
    I have used the nunchaku before and really, I don't see what makes them so dangerous.
    When used to their full potential the nuncaku are, indeed, very lethal weapons. The tonfa is illegal in some states for anything other than martial arts training for the same reason as the 'chuk. The handle on the tonfa and the swivel on the 'chuk increase the striking force exponentionally. They can also be used to trap and poke and block and, well you get the picture. Like so many other potential weapons the out lawing of them is usually a knee jerk reaction that takes decades to correct. Look at switch blade knives, for instance. My CRKT is a manual blade that I can open as fast as any switch blade and it's perfectly legal. If I carry a switch blade even half that size I'm looking at charges.
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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    Interesting.

    I know the nunchaku are powerful. They're not powerful in the same way that bruce lee demonstrated (1 hit = fly 9 ft back), or in the same way that would appeal to people in demonstrations (the circular patterns and manuvers). But they're not that much dangerous than any other legal weapon.

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    One of the fundamental problems with any law is the people drafting them. At last glance, a good majority are old rich, white guys. Not that all old rich white guys are bad, but they have a certain frame of reference that unfortunately, may not equate to yours or mine. They answer to their constituents, so politicians try to react to "problems", and they use these victories show what a great job they are doing.

    Back to the laws themselves. Some states such as Texas classify martial arts weapons within other classes of weapons. Nunchukas fall into definition of clubs ( see http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/pe.toc.htm and scroll down to Title 10, chapter 46 and there also is court case i believe).

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    I know this is going to sound lazy, but does anyone know the current law for possessing nunchucks in ny?

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    Hello, The laws are there for a reason. If you carry weapons (nuchaku's), you mostly likely will use it.

    Why would you need to carry? If you can Legality? than all the bad guys can too!

    Yes! many bads guys break the laws and have knives,guns,pipes,and other stuffs too.

    Can you imagine everyone else carrying weapons too?

    Be smart!.carry things ? that are not classfied as weapons ?canes,walking stickes,umbrella (reinforce). Big pencils,comb (with pointed handles), many choice's of available everyday stuffs.

    Lots of chemicals that can be purchase as your local hardware store...Muratic acid,crazy glue (splash them)..can be carry legally. Use special containers. If you wish to carry and use? But it can back fire too!

    In martial arts: prevention is Number one! awareness, avoid bad places, be kind and humble, smile, and be ready to run aways.....

    BEST to use your brains and the right language (VERBAL JUDO) a must read. ALL of Kona police officers are suppose to have read this book!

    WE are not Samuai any more? ......carrying swords......Aloha

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    Quote Originally Posted by Super_Noob View Post
    I know this is going to sound lazy, but does anyone know the current law for possessing nunchucks in ny?
    You can try Findlaw.com; they'll have links that will take you to the NY state codes. My suspicion is that New York City will strictly regulate them; the state is likely to be more liberal -- but that's just a suspicion.

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    Quote Originally Posted by Super_Noob View Post
    I've always wondered, why are Nunchaku illegal in so many states and countries?
    I am speaking just about the United States laws here, and specifically our laws in Michigan (not legal advice, just personal experience).

    First of all, be sure what the law says, and if there has actually been a law passed which refers to any Martial Art weapon, or the Nunchakku by name - even under various names. Many times, police officers will instinctively tell a person that a "weapon" is illegal when there is no such law on the books. Court cases and legal precedence can have some bearing on potential prosecution, but remember to check your sources. Police officers are not attorneys, and often do not fully know what laws have been enacted, or exactly how the law reads. Often times, prosecuting attorneys don't even know what the law is until they look it up. (believe me, I've had experience with this). Furthermore, not all laws that are enacted are constitutional, and might end up being repealed or struck down by the courts, but that is a tough road to take as a defendant!

    Secondly, if there are any specific laws on the books about "Martial Art Weapons," or "Nunchakku" then be sure what the law prohibits. Sometimes it is the possession anytime, anywhere. Other laws might allow ownership, but restrict where and how you carry the weapon. In most cases, if a weapon is inherently dangerous (IE: firearm, or long bladed knife or sword), then the weapon may not be carried concealed without a permit. This does not necessarily prohibit one from carrying the weapon in plain sight, or stored in a trunk of a car. However, you must be careful not to cross the line because a weapon that has been legislated as "dangerous" and requiring permits to carry concealed will be considered concealed if it is under a coat, or otherwise hidden from plain view, or if it is anywhere in the passenger area of an automobile, even if it is in plain sight.

    Most laws restrict the use of weapons more than their possession (firearms and sharp implements aside). As mentioned in earlier posts, many household items can be used to harm or kill. Thus, the courts usually view the actions, and intent of the person more of a crime than the mere possession of a blunt instrument.

    Back in the 1980s, I was not only teaching Taekwondo, but also weapons, including the nunchakku. I was working part time for a police department, and part time as a security officer at a local outdoor shopping center. I got permission from my boss to carry my nunchakku while in security uniform, in place of my nightstick. It was a rough neighborhood, and I found that the presence of the nunchakku raised doubt in the minds of gang members, and often deterred resistance. If I ever needed to use them (which I never did) I knew they would fend off attacks from multiple opponents, and armed individuals better than a stick.

    One local police officer saw the nunchakku in a holster on my belt, and casually said to me, "You know, those are illegal to carry like that." To which I replied, "No they're not." Then I pulled out my wallet, and showed him a copy of (no - not a special permit) the Michigan Supreme Court case that specifically stated "Karate Sticks are not considered a dangerous weapon under the bludgeon category." Now, I don't know if there has been any legislation passed in Michigan since then (none that I am aware of) but I do know they have tried. Mostly, the shuriken (throwing stars) have been the target of attempted legislation in our area, but I do not believe they have been successful yet. Many people believe things are illegal because others say they are. They are only illegal if the law has been passed which specifically says so, or a more general law has been interpreted by the courts to define it as such. The lesson is - do your research.

    Quote Originally Posted by Super_Noob View Post
    I have used the nunchakku before and really, I don't see what makes them so dangerous. Of course, they are weapons after all, but so is a bayonet, and so is a rifle, but apparently those are legal
    I agree that the Martial Art, and the various weapons, are beautiful in their art-form, but if you do not also see the inherent danger of the nunchakku, then you might not fully understand the weapon. If a pair of sticks were lashed together, and used for a purpose other than fighting (maybe beating the dirt out of rugs on a clothes-line) then perhaps you might not call it a "weapon," but to deny that it is "dangerous" is ignoring its true potential.

    Many objects can be used to hurt, or kill someone. However, some are more dangerous because of their natural function, and mechanics. Firearms are considered more naturally dangerous because anyone, of any size, strength, or age can pick one up, and kill another human with the smallest amount of effort - the pulling of a trigger. An infant child can unwittingly kill a full grown adult, with no malice, no intent, and no vicious beating.

    A sharp knife, razor, or sword can cut through human flesh, and end a life in seconds. This can be accomplished by the youngest, most unskilled individual, and can be done in one stroke. Later regrets can not change what can happen in the heat of the moment.

    The nunchakku is unlike any other blunt instrument. While I believe that laws should avoid restricting their possession, the misuse of them should be prosecuted like an illegal assault of any kind, but with more intensified consequences. The whipping action, and speed of the free flying end of the nunchakku makes it excessively lethal, and even an unskilled, and immature individual can swing them much harder than any straight stick, and cause death with much more ease. A nunchakku which strikes the skull can easily split the skull, crush it, cause brain damage, or death with one blow.

    They are potentially deadly, thus very lethal weapons, but they are only "dangerous" if placed in the hands of a person who has ill intent. They do require some skill to maneuver, which makes them less of an inherent threat than a loaded firearm, or sharp knife.

    CM D.J. Eisenhart
    Last edited by Last Fearner; 12-26-2006 at 12:24 AM.

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    Yes, some years back our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy, tried to introduce legislation outlawing "martial arts weapons." Period. Fortunately, it failed. But it does go to show you how uninformed these people are and what kinds of foolish ideas they come up with-

    Ted should have spent more time learning how to swim...

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    Last Fearner, that has got to be one of the most informative and respectful comments that I've ever heard or read regarding the issue of martial art weapon legality. Good stuff there. Though for previous and future posts... In the event I ever got into a fight or some other sticky situation, I would never use anything other than my body or possibly a large stick to defend myself. It seems really inconvienent to try and use nunchucks in an actual fight, but that's probably because I practiced with them to show off rather than defend myself.

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    You might want to check on the website, http://www.packing.org/state/

    Although this is a website that is primarily geared to gun issues and show a summary of legal codes by state, there are sometimes summarized codes for other types of weapons (such as knives, sticks, and martial arts weapons).

    Your profile does not specifically say where you are located, but from the few posts you've made, I am assuming you are from the state of New York? New York City has its own link because some requirements differ from the rest of the state.

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    As the others have stated, laws that forbid certain weapons are nothing more than cosmetic glitter that various ignorant and / or desperate politicians attempt to use to make them look more important.

    These politicians will attack high profile weapons with a zeal, since those weapons get the most media exposure and hype. After movies such as "Enter the Dragon" or "Fist of Fury" (The Chinese Connection in the US), there were many people who suddenly had ideas in their heads that nunchaku were the ulitmate weapon.

    Politicians preyed off that fear, and in order to make it look like they were doing something for their voting constituents, would use these weapons as scapegoats, even if they weren't being used in crimes by the overwhelming majority of their owners.

    This is true for many kinds of weapons, and not just nunchaku. Swords, firearms, etc., are all being attacked by politicians who just want votes at any cost, and unfortunately, in many localities, such politicians are able to sway enough people to their causes. Even if someone tries to point out the truth about such things, and how the politicians are trying to twist the issue, it's a difficult thing to overcome, since people have fallen for the hype.

    Another issue that is very similar, are the laws against switchblade knives. Many states forbid the ownership of a switchblade, even though almost any switchblade is going to be significantly inferior to a good lockback blade, such as a Spyderco, Benchmade, etc. People associate switchblades with criminal activities, simply because of how such weapons were portrayed by the media in the news, as well as in the movie theaters.

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    Re: Nunchaku Legality

    After Bruce used the chuks in his movies. Well people went out made there own. others flocked and bought them. Then they were abused like anything else gets abused. States started passing new laws Some so strict the chuks could not even be sold in certion states. Like the Ninja craze in the early 80s saw much abuse more laws were passed. Befor Bruce used the chuks in his movies very little exposer outside the M/A circle new much about them much less there use.

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