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#110029 - 04/03/04 05:05 PM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
Sweeney Offline

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 342
Loc: New York, USA
I'm afraid I have to disagree. It is NOT always best to cooperate. It is best in the long run, I hope and believe, to know your rights, to politely but firmly do your best to keep them from being trampled upon, and then be ready to fight about it for years after they have. That's what I'm doing. (Next court conference is May 7, 2004. Referenced events occurred August 23, 2000.)

Jim Maloney

#110030 - 04/04/04 03:45 PM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
immrtldragon Offline

Registered: 05/22/03
Posts: 1540
Loc: Just outside Philadelphia, PA
Maybe not always and throughout the entire process...of course if you want to plead not guilty and they say you are guilty you don't want to cooperate and say "yes, I am guilty." But if the cops come to your home and have probable cause and they will get a warrent anyway, just cooperate and let them search...instead of having them stand there and send another guy to get the warrent, then waste everyone's time. That's where I meant cooperate.

#110031 - 05/19/04 05:19 PM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
Sweeney Offline

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 342
Loc: New York, USA
Well, here in the US cops bluff all the time and tell you they CAN get a warrant. It's not their call, though. I'm inclined to tell them politely that they are not invited to enter my home unless and until they show me that piece of paper. (Not that I have anything to hide, officer, but I do believe in the Constitution. In fact, in 1980 I took an oath to defend it "against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC!")

Jim Maloney

[This message has been edited by Sweeney (edited 05-19-2004).]

#110032 - 05/20/04 10:08 AM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
xerxes Offline

Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 515
Loc: Georgia, USA

We have not heard much from you in awhile. How is the legal battle going?

#110033 - 05/20/04 10:26 AM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
Sweeney Offline

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 342
Loc: New York, USA
Well, the Attorney General's office was supposed to make a motion that would have addressed most of the constitutional issues in the case. The advantage of letting them "move first" would be that all the facts alleged in my complaint would be treated as true (as they are) for purposes of the motion. But, alas, the State moves slowly (and sometimes does not move at all): they have never gotten around to briefing their motion despite having agreed to various briefing schedules in conferences before the federal magistrate. So at the last conference I let it be known that I will now be the one making the first motion, seeking summary judgment (i.e, a definitive ruling in my favor without the need for trial). I have started the ball rolling by serving the Attorney General's office with my statement of what I claim to be the relevant undisputed facts. They now have an opportunity to make a counterstatement, following which I am to write a letter to the judge requesting a pre-motion conference at which we will agree to a (firmer) briefing schedule. Justice moves slowly but it does move. I have several web pages devoted to the case, with lots of links and regular updates. Check it out:

#110034 - 06/27/04 10:52 PM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
Sweeney Offline

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 342
Loc: New York, USA
Just added a new web page where I will continue to blog updates. We had a status conference before the magistrate on June 18, and the ball is now in my court to finish writing a brief over the summer that will convince a federal judge that it is unconstitutional for the State to make it a crime to possess, in one's own home, two wooden sticks connected by a cord. I've made that new web page,, my new profile page on this forum. The older (NYU) web pages (see previous post) are still there, and will be for a while (until at least May 2005), but I will post new updates only to the new page.


[This message has been edited by Sweeney (edited 06-27-2004).]

#110035 - 07/26/04 08:40 PM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
pod3 Offline

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 62
Best or safest to cooperate?

They'll put some on you if they want to find you with them. This has happened to acquaintances who would not have lied, anyways.

[This message has been edited by pod3 (edited 07-26-2004).]

[This message has been edited by pod3 (edited 07-26-2004).]

#110036 - 08/11/04 10:39 AM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
Sweeney Offline

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 342
Loc: New York, USA

I first learned of California’s having prosecuted in-home possession of nunchaku while doing on-line research in July 2003. I have now learned of an additional California prosecution. Specifically, on July 18, 2004, I received a telephone call from a gentleman named Harold Vaughn, who currently resides in San Jose, California, although he is domiciled in Virginia. I spoke with Mr. Vaughn again on August 7, 2004. Mr. Vaughn has been a martial artist for over 30 years, was the Virginia director of the U.S. National Karate Association, and currently resides in California because he completed a J.D. program there earlier this year and, before his recent conviction, was preparing for the California bar exam, which he has subsequently postponed for obvious reasons. In early 2004, police who had legally entered Mr. Vaughn’s residence saw a nunchaku on display on the wall with his martial arts certificates and found other nunchaku in his home pursuant to a consent search. The State of California subsequently charged Mr. Vaughn with six counts of violation of California Penal Code § 12020, a misdemeanor, for his possession of the nunchaku in his home. On July 19, 2004, Mr. Vaughn, threatened with prosecution for six misdemeanor counts with consecutive sentencing leading to six years of incarceration, represented by Deputy Public Defender Alfred Spielmann, Esq. of the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender, pled “no contest” to a single count of violation of Penal Code § 12020 in Department 50 of the California Superior Court, Santa Clara County (Judge Stafford), Case No. CC00452996.

Yesterday I wrote to the California Governor (Arnold Schwarzenegger) about this disturbing prosecution. Concerned martial artists should do the same. To view my letter in pdf (with Mr. Vaughn's telephone number redacted), go to:

To e-mail the Governor, go to:

[This message has been edited by Sweeney (edited 08-11-2004).]

#110037 - 08/12/04 06:55 AM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
ken harding Offline

Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 721
Loc: UK
Kennedy attributes the origin of federalism to the US, and he may be right,


Just one point re federalism. It is my undertstanding that the US system was actually modelled upon Swiss Federalism as the founding fathers thought it looked to be rather a good idea!


#110038 - 12/17/04 02:10 AM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?

Funny story actually. where i live in bolton, uk, there is a store in the town centre that sold martial arts weapons, mainly for display. however, they also sold a good pair of nunchuku for a reasonable price, and hence one day i bought them as i could no longer resist.

after i bought them they were packaged and i left the shop. as i walked away i was appeoached by a police officer who asked to see the contents of the bag i was carrying, which i showed him. stood only feet away from the shop. he then escorted me to the nearest police station and placed me under arrest, on charges of carryin and illicit and dangerous weapon in a public place.
you see it turns out that selling a weapon over here in the UK is fine and you can distribute them freely, but as soon as you carry one in a public place, you are commiting a crime, hence there are laws in enforcement preventing any weapon slaes in the UK as htere is no possible legal way you can transport them home.
I would fuly understand the officers concern if i was waving them about, or if i had brought them from home, but i had infact just bought them. as he and his superior officer interviewed me, you could see his superior officers anguish when he realised exactly what his underling had done. not only was it entrapment, but my saviour from being officiallyl charged was my proof.
the reciept i had at which i bought it said a time of 3:08. the time of arrest was 3:08. the officer had deliberately watched me buy the nunchuku and then arrested me infront of the staff of the store, perhaps hoping that i was underage and they would have had grounds to end the feud the local police had been having with this store.
however, when they facts came out i was realesed without charges, albeit without nunchuku, but to be honest i was glad to be out of a situation where i could have recieved a criminal record. they still tried to charge me with having weapons, but i explained that i was to use them for display purpouses and there was no intent for violence behind them, i then explained to him that a pen could be considered a weapon and a more dangerous one if the intent was there, hence someone who is really P**sed off and is carrying a pen with them poses more of a threat to society than I.

bizzarely enough, the officer said he would ahve let me go and let me keep my nunchuku afterwards if i had told them i was using them to train(go figure). he told me that although my intentions were harmless, if someone had wrenched them away from me and used them irresponsibly there could be injuries or fatalities, but if i knew how to use them myself they wouldnt ahve to worry about that. (i dont even know here to begin with that, drove me crazy for weeks)

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