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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 1999 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Received this e-mail yesterday. Recommended that Bruce go here to get answers from the experts. GEM

Hello Sensei Mattson......

I have a question that maybe you can help me with. Can you tell me if it is illegal to have, in your car, martial arts equipment such as sai, nanchaku, swords, etc...if you are a certified martial arts instructor, and happen to be coming home from a demo.

What happened is just that, and this person was arrested for posession of these things, and his lawyer happens to be a friend of mine and thought I might be aware of any particular laws that would cover this....I asked Jeff Garrison, who asked Bruce Witherell, who didn't know....Jeff suggested that we might contact you, and that possibly you would know.

Anyway, any help you could give me with this would be greatly appreciated......

Thank You........

Bob Noel


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 1999 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 12, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 1688
Location: Weymouth, MA US of A
Hi,

A couple of years ago, I posted a list of weapons on the Cyber-Dojo that are banned in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I copied this list directly (verbatim) from the applicable Massachusetts general Laws. Sensei Mattson copied that particular post and put it on his Web Page. If that info is available, take a look at it.

Sai are legal, but nunchaku are not legal. Single-edged swords are legal, and there is no blade length restriction in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. However, double-edged weapons in any size or form are illegal. Throwing knives and throwing stars are also specifically banned.

Whereas I only have a curiosity in these matters, and I am not an attorney, the person arrested needs a lawyer-a good, criminal defense attorney.

I hope this helps,

Gene


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 1999 12:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 27, 1999 6:01 am
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Location: williamstown, Ma., U.S.
Hi Gene......

Thanx.....your reply does help, and I appreciate your time.....

Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 1999 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 12, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 1688
Location: Weymouth, MA US of A
For further reference, here goes:

Massachusetts. Gen.Law Chapter 269, Section 10 (b) prohibits the carrying "on his person" or "under his control in a vehicle" any:

-Stiletto
-dagger
-"device or case which enables a knife with a locking blade to be drawn at a locked position"
-"ballistic knife" (or any detachable knife capable of being propelled by any mechanism)
-dirk knife
-any knife with a double edged blade
-switch knife
-any knife with an automatic spring release over 1 1/2" in blade length
-slung shot, blowgun, blackjack, metallic knuckles (it goes on to say any fascimile thereof-ed)
-nunchaku, zoobow (aka klackers or kung fu sticks)
-shuriken
-studded armbands
-manrikiusari

Any comments? There is also a separate law regarding the manufacture of certain weapons and knives (MGL 269, Sect. 12), that is slightly different.

Which one of your favorite MA weapon is included on this list? Which one isn't?

As always, consult your attorney for guidance.

Gene


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 1999 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 27, 1999 6:01 am
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Location: williamstown, Ma., U.S.
Gene......

Again, thank you for your time and assistance......I will pass this info along to the concerned parties.......

Bob

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 1999 6:16 am 
In Canada certain weapons are prohibited, which means that it is illegal to be in possession of them at all. The ones I know for sure are: shuriken, metallic knuckles (so Teku (sp?) are out), and nunchaku.

Rick


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 1999 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 08, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 396
Location: Victoria BC
Ah Rick,

under the definition of nunchaku in Cdn. law, any two or more sticks held together by rope or chain are prohibited so that includes the three section staff that has devestated so much of Canada's urban population, Image

Also comb-knives, punch daggers, all sprays made to be incapacitaters, tasers, gravity knives - incluing balisongs...whew, a complete list is availabel if anyone cares!

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Ted T.
The Fighting Old Man


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 1999 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 1476
Location: Halifax, NS Canada
Hate to appear like a dumb Canuck but what is a "punch dagger"? I have seen a lot of weapons pass for key chains (kubaton especially) anybody know the story on the legality of those?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 1999 9:26 pm 
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Location: Victoria BC
Mary,

as long as it has no spikes protruding thru the fingers or a 'knuckle covering,' a fist load on a key chain is ok. If you pull it out of your purse in front of a LEO and he asks "What is that for?" and you answer, "Self defense." you have just defined the 'tool' as a weapon and your having it in your purse is 'having a concealed weapon.' It is probably better to cary a knife to cut your seat belt loose in case of an accident and a 'fist load' to break the window with ...

A punch dagger is a (usually) two edged blade fixed to a cross-bar handle that fits strongly into the closed fist. The blade protrudes thru the fingers and is either twisted so if your thumb is up the blade is horizontal (perpendicular to the handle) or not twisted so it is aligned wth the handle, (parralel to the handle). Some of the Inuit clans use a knife like this for skinning but there is no twist to the blade as it comes thru the fingers...these are not prohibited in Canada but the twisted variety - a very nasty weapon, is prohibited, ie. illegal to own, carry or use.

The biggest problem with carrying a prohibited weapon in Canada for self defense is that although proven self defense usually changes a murder or intent to murder charge to not guilty, the use of excessive force negates self defense from being brought up to the jury or the judge...if it is found that you used excessive force, no one will hear anything about your supposed self defense, and the use of a prohibited weapon is seen to be automatically excessive force (by many judges) ...rough, hey??

------------------
Ted T.
The Fighting Old Man


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 1999 10:28 pm 
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Posts: 1070
For a quick reference may I suggest Carl Brown's LAW AND THE MARTIAL ARTIST from Ohara. While law is always in flux, at least here you have a checkpoint from which to start. Carl has a state by state weapons' law guide, and if it does not remain up to date (and it won't, believe me!) at least you'll have some idea of where to go in the state statutes/codes/ordinances to look up the right answers.

I know of no law that makes exceptions for martial arts instructors to possess weapons that are illegal for others to possess, nor for them to carry said weapons concealed.

My take on the Massachusetts law (N.B., I DO NOT PRACTICE LAW IN MASSACHUSETTS!!!) is that transporting the props in his car trunk, locked, not able to be taken readily out to attack someone, might be defensible, especially if the sensei could show a scheduled demo....

Good luck.

Student


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 1999 6:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 181
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Student:

While it is not entirely clear how a martial arts school would come into the possession of a nunchaku without somebody having it in his or her possession to transport said weapon from the place of sale to the school, under California Law, Penal Code section 12020, there is an exception to the prohibition on the possession of a nunchaku for a licensed, as in business licensed, martial arts school. This is the only exception to the prohibition on possession of banned martial arts weapons, no such exception applies to throwing stars, and leaves open the question of how the nunchaku gets to the school. It also leaves open the question of whether one can perform a nunchaku kata at a tournament not held in a licensed martial arts school, without leaving one exposed to felony arrest.

Peace.
Robb in Sacramento


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