DIY Kubotan A Felony???

Psilent Knight

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Hey guys,

After watching a youtube video on a fun looking DIY project (kubotan type keychain) someone suggested that you may be committing a Felony by taking an ordinary marker and turning it into a...... weapon....even if your intention is to simply make a keychain. What the heck!!! :confused:

Does anyone here definitively know anything about this (and by definitely I mean based on an actual case experience instead of mere conjecture)?

I posted the video below:

 

Bill Mattocks

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First, I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.

Second, any advice you get from anyone online, including myself, is worth exactly nothing. Do you suppose you could defend yourself in court by printing out this thread and saying "But your honor, Bobaloo2000 said clearly that this was totally legit and legal, so you have to let me go!" Good luck with that.

Third, there is no 'definitive' with regard to what you're describing.

Fourth, any of the types of pocket weapons are more or less crap. Why are they crap? Not because they can't be used, not because they can't be effective. But because you won't train with them enough to be able to use them as actual effective weapons. Nope. You'll play with it a bit, put your keys on it, shove it in your pocket, and think you now have a magic wand to protect you from evil. You don't. What you have is something that makes bad guys laugh, right before they pound you into the ground, take your wallet and car keys, and probably spit on your body a couple times as they walk away. Sound harsh? Go ahead, buy one of these things. Six months from now, tell me HONESTLY if you did anything except what I just said. You will not train with it. Therefore it is yet another worthless magic toy.

It comes up all the time on MT and lots of other forums. Everybody wants the magic bullet - something they can carry around with them at all time, which is in effect a weapon (yes, a 'defensive' weapon, as if that mattered at all), but one with made all the cops everywhere bow down and say "Oh, DUDE! Totally legal, carry on with your bad self!" Not going to happen. Not now, not ever.

Weapons are what the law says they are, and if they are not described explicitly, they are often what they appear to be in the eyes of the cop that pulls you over or the prosecuting attorney thinks they are. They are also weapons if you use them to do something naughty with, as with any weapon. A legal pocketknife becomes a 'deadly weapon' if you use it to stick some dude who grabbed your butt in a bar. But officer, it's under three inches (the blade, hehehe). Doesn't matter, champ. You use it as a weapon when you shouldn't, and now it's assault with a deadly weapon. Surprise.

Bottom line. If you want one, buy one. If you want to know if it's legal, pay an attorney to tell you based on where you live and how you intend to carry it. Any other advice is essentially worthless. If you do buy one, train with it (you won't). Then let it sit on the shelf with the other super-duper magical self-defense toys, it's safer for you and everybody else that way.

If you think I am against kubatons, I am not. They are very effective in the right hands. Those hands would be the people who will get proper training, train assiduously with them, and carry them legally for only self-defensive purposes as permitted by law - the last part which no one in this forum can tell you. Since 99% of the people who buy magic martial arts toys don't bother getting proper training, or practice with them, I'm against that. Basically I'm anti-chowderhead.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Here is the federal definition of a 'dangerous weapon', which is not the same as various state and local laws, which can differ widely from place to place.

18 USCS Appx 禮 1B1.1 (sentencing guidelines) and 18 U.S. Code 禮 930 - Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities come to mind:

(2) The term dangerous weapon means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2翻 inches in length

What does this mean? It means that it's not the item - it's how it is used or capable of being used. You won't find a list of 'kubaton = good to go' somewhere in most places. So what does 'readily capable of' mean? It means, as I said in the post above, whatever the judge or jury thinks it means.

So is a kubaton an illegal weapon, and can a person be charged with a felony for carrying one? The answer is it depends. Ask a lawyer for a better answer.
 

PhotonGuy

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Weapons are what the law says they are, and if they are not described explicitly, they are often what they appear to be in the eyes of the cop that pulls you over or the prosecuting attorney thinks they are. They are also weapons if you use them to do something naughty with, as with any weapon. A legal pocketknife becomes a 'deadly weapon' if you use it to stick some dude who grabbed your butt in a bar. But officer, it's under three inches (the blade, hehehe). Doesn't matter, champ. You use it as a weapon when you shouldn't, and now it's assault with a deadly weapon. Surprise.
So the way you describe it, it sounds as if whether or not the possession of certain items is legal depends more on how you use it rather than the items themselves. For instance, in many places, just about everywhere I believe, "possession of burglary tools" is against the law. Now, what are burglary tools? Stuff such as crowbars and screwdrivers but only if used to commit burglaries. Another words, you could have a crowbar in your car, a screwdriver in your pocket, ect. and that's all fine and dandy. Possession of such items only gets you in trouble if you use them to commit crime. For instance if you use a screwdriver and/or crowbar to break into a house all of a sudden such items become burglary tools and you're charged with "possession of burglary tools" in addition to breaking and entering and any other crime you might commit. So possession of crowbars and screwdrivers is legal as long as you're not using them in any way you shouldn't.
 

ballen0351

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. For instance if you use a screwdriver and/or crowbar to break into a house all of a sudden such items become burglary tools and you're charged with "possession of burglary tools" in addition to breaking and entering and any other crime you might commit. So possession of crowbars and screwdrivers is legal as long as you're not using them in any way you shouldn't.
Not always. If its 3am your in all black clothing in a neighborhood you have no reasonable answer as to why you are there and I find a crowbar, screw driver, flashlight etc on you. I may decided to arrest you for burglary tools even if you haven't broken into anything yet....
 

punisher73

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Here is the federal definition of a 'dangerous weapon', which is not the same as various state and local laws, which can differ widely from place to place.

18 USCS Appx 禮 1B1.1 (sentencing guidelines) and 18 U.S. Code 禮 930 - Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities come to mind:

(2) The term dangerous weapon means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2翻 inches in length

What does this mean? It means that it's not the item - it's how it is used or capable of being used. You won't find a list of 'kubaton = good to go' somewhere in most places. So what does 'readily capable of' mean? It means, as I said in the post above, whatever the judge or jury thinks it means.

So is a kubaton an illegal weapon, and can a person be charged with a felony for carrying one? The answer is it depends. Ask a lawyer for a better answer.

Just tacking on to what Bill said (he gave great advice in the earlier post about your particular jurisdiction since interpretation of the law does vary as well and how the Pros. Office handles things).

In Michigan, even if you are carrying the "legal knife" that has a blade less than 2 1/2 inches in length and you are stopped and the officer asks about why you are carrying it. If you tell him that it is for self-protection, your intent is to carry it as a weapon and you can be arrested for CCW (Carrying Concealed Weapon) and charged with a felony in Michigan. This is NOT a hypothetical, I have seen this happen in our county on a few occasions.

So, back to Bill'ls earlier advice, PLEASE talk to an attorney in your area who does lots of practice in your local area to know the judges and prosecutors look at self-defense laws etc. Remember, that "self-defense" is a legal DEFENSE in court. That means you can be arrested and charged with the alleged crime and DURING COURT you make the case that your actions were legal because of self-defense. That is why many people get arrested for whatever local ordinance it usually falls under (for example, disorderly by fighting) and pay the small fine and be done with it because it is much more expensive to pay a lawyer to defend yourself in court.

Self-Defense is about protecting yourself AT ALL TIMES, which includes doing your homework ahead of time and having an attorney on retainer and asking them these questions before you get in the situation.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Not always. If its 3am your in all black clothing in a neighborhood you have no reasonable answer as to why you are there and I find a crowbar, screw driver, flashlight etc on you. I may decided to arrest you for burglary tools even if you haven't broken into anything yet....

Correct.

Burglary Tools

For some reason, people often, and incorrectly, believe that if an item has a legitimate use, the police and prosecutors are bound to honor their 'excuse'. It's not a murder stick, it's a baseball bat! Well, where's the game? No game? Murder stick.
 

CDR_Glock

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Kubotans are helpful but I prefer a different form of defense

d342a606c5162baf4bc0ba889d231ea0.jpg


ed708f489aa198d819c47b32d3daac73.jpg



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

punisher73

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Correct.

Burglary Tools

For some reason, people often, and incorrectly, believe that if an item has a legitimate use, the police and prosecutors are bound to honor their 'excuse'. It's not a murder stick, it's a baseball bat! Well, where's the game? No game? Murder stick.

I remember one time, I was at the gun store with my brother-in-law, who is an attorney (very good, that he is allowed to go before the US Supreme Court to argue cases--just a little background that he does know his stuff). Anyways, one of the workers is telling a customer that this triangle shaped knife (fixed blade) that was about six inches long was TOTALLY legal because the law only said a double edged fixed blade was illegal and that the law had nothing to do with intent. My brother-in-law was NOT amused at this crappy legal advice given to the customer like it was gospel.

Throwing this story out there to AGAIN, reiterate the importance of getting ACTUAL legal advice when checking on things and not relying on folks you may think know what they are talking about.
51Y6X5fAmcL._SL256_.jpg

Knife blade was something similar to this style.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I remember one time, I was at the gun store with my brother-in-law, who is an attorney (very good, that he is allowed to go before the US Supreme Court to argue cases--just a little background that he does know his stuff). Anyways, one of the workers is telling a customer that this triangle shaped knife (fixed blade) that was about six inches long was TOTALLY legal because the law only said a double edged fixed blade was illegal and that the law had nothing to do with intent. My brother-in-law was NOT amused at this crappy legal advice given to the customer like it was gospel.

Throwing this story out there to AGAIN, reiterate the importance of getting ACTUAL legal advice when checking on things and not relying on folks you may think know what they are talking about.
51Y6X5fAmcL._SL256_.jpg

Knife blade was something similar to this style.

Well said. And to add to that, I like to mention from time to time that "this guy on the internet told me it was legal" is not a legal defense. By the same token, people can get in trouble dispensing what amounts to legal advice. I tend to say "I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice" when I offer an opinion. I also tend to urge people to check with an actual attorney if they have questions. Even cops are not always the best source of legal advice; I have several cop friends who have some serious misunderstandings about criminal law; but they know the law well enough to do their jobs well; they're just not lawyers.

Nobody who gives you legal advice on the internet is going to go to prison in your place because you took their crappy advice and got charged with a crime. Nobody is going to pay your legal fees. They won't be standing by your side in the docket; at best they'll be laughing at you online or making excuses about why their advice was rock-solid, but you didn't understand them properly, or some bollocks like that.

Each and every one of us is responsible for our own actions. If you're going to get a kubaton and carry it around, and you have any doubts as to its legality, ask an attorney. If you can't be bothered to do that, you get what you have coming to you.
 
OP
Psilent Knight

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In any case, nobody trains with kubatons anyway. So it's nothing more than a talisman.

Well I do. I train with the one on my keys and I also train with a palm stick.

Kubotans are helpful but I prefer a different form of defense

d342a606c5162baf4bc0ba889d231ea0.jpg


ed708f489aa198d819c47b32d3daac73.jpg



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Completely agree!! This should be our first line of defense. Any weapon other than a firearm is either a weapon of last resort due to inaccessibility to the firearm and/or it's functions or the situation itself isn't harsh enough to warrant use of a firearm.
 
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Psilent Knight

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I remember one time, I was at the gun store with my brother-in-law, who is an attorney (very good, that he is allowed to go before the US Supreme Court to argue cases--just a little background that he does know his stuff). Anyways, one of the workers is telling a customer that this triangle shaped knife (fixed blade) that was about six inches long was TOTALLY legal because the law only said a double edged fixed blade was illegal and that the law had nothing to do with intent. My brother-in-law was NOT amused at this crappy legal advice given to the customer like it was gospel.

Throwing this story out there to AGAIN, reiterate the importance of getting ACTUAL legal advice when checking on things and not relying on folks you may think know what they are talking about.
51Y6X5fAmcL._SL256_.jpg

Knife blade was something similar to this style.

Did your brother-in-law interject at all?
 

Gerry Seymour

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Correct.

Burglary Tools

For some reason, people often, and incorrectly, believe that if an item has a legitimate use, the police and prosecutors are bound to honor their 'excuse'. It's not a murder stick, it's a baseball bat! Well, where's the game? No game? Murder stick.
I think I'll name my training bat "Murder Stick".
 

Bill Mattocks

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We did for a while at my old school.

For a while, eh? :)

However, in a martial arts discussion forum, with martial arts practitioners, it makes sense that we'd have a few that train diligently with tools / weapons like a kubaton.

But I see them for sale at convenience store check out counters and on eBay. Think those purchasers get proper training and then practice with them? No. They go on the keys and the people who buy them consider them magic talismans; they wave them around, the situation improves. Maybe they watched a youtube video on how to use them. Instant experts.
 

Gerry Seymour

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For a while, eh? :)

However, in a martial arts discussion forum, with martial arts practitioners, it makes sense that we'd have a few that train diligently with tools / weapons like a kubaton.

But I see them for sale at convenience store check out counters and on eBay. Think those purchasers get proper training and then practice with them? No. They go on the keys and the people who buy them consider them magic talismans; they wave them around, the situation improves. Maybe they watched a youtube video on how to use them. Instant experts.
Yeah, people didn't show enough interest in it, so he stopped covering it.

You are correct about most purchasers. Even without any special training, they fit fairly well into the movements I'm trained to, so some utility right off (though not a huge amount - training brought more). Most folks don't have anything like that, so it's just a nice keyweight.
 
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